Meeting the Independent Board Leading the Investigation into Urban Meyer

By Kevin Harrish on August 4, 2018 at 10:30 am
Urban Meyer is under investigation for what he may have known regarding domestic violence allegations surrounding Zach Smith.

Ohio State announced on Thursday night that it had assembled an independent board to lead its investigation into head coach Urban Meyer.

"The special working group will direct the work of the investigative team and be available to provide consultation and advice and assist with communication to the full board on the matter," the statement said.

This board will lead the investigation which will ultimately determine the fate of the current Buckeye head coach, so we decided to get to know them a little bit.

Jo Ann Davidson

In 1995, Jo Ann Davidson became the first woman ever elected speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives. She served in the house from 1981 until 2000, representing a portion of Franklin county, and was succeeded by Larry Flowers as speaker.

Following her time in the Ohio House, Davidson served as the chair of the Ohio Casino Control Commission from 2011 until 2018. In 2016, the Capitol Theatre in Columbus, Ohio, which sits across the street from the Ohio Statehouse, was named in her honor.

Now, at the age of 90, Ohio State has tabbed her as one of the six individuals to lead the investigation into Urban Meyer.

Craig Morford

Craig Morford is a former acting United States Deputy Attorney General, holding the role from 2007 to 2008 under President George W. Bush. 

As a practicing attorney, Morford has a long history of work in Cleveland as a federal prosecutor pursuing public-corruption and organized crime cases.

Throughout his career, Morford helped convict the nation's largest pornography distributor, Reuben Sturman, on tax evasion charges, and won a case against James A. Traficant, a congressman who neglected to pay taxes $163,000 received from mob figures. He helped convict him in a second trail for bribery, racketeering and tax evasion and sentenced to eight years in prison.

Morford also tabbed to lead a Justice Department review of allegations of prosecutorial misconduct in a major terrorism case that followed the attacks of September 11, 2001.

While acting as Deputy Attorney General, Morford wrote what's now referred to as the "Morford Memo" which established "new guidelines for how federal prosecutors select and use compliance monitors in corporate crime settlements."

Carter Stewart

From 2009 to 2016, Carter Stewart served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio. During his time, a number of high-profile Cincinnati cases were prosecuted under Stewart.


Keith A. Arrick, Sr., of Fort Mitchell,  and his son Keith A. Arrick, Jr. convicted in 2014 of running a sex trafficking operation. Arrick Sr. was sentenced to 13 years in prison and Arrick Jr. was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The current prosecution of Christopher Lee Cornell, 21, of Green Township charged with attempting to provide material support to ISIL and other related offenses. He allegedly plotted, planned and attempted to attack the U.S. Capitol and kill government officials.

Cincinnati money manager Glen Galemmo sentenced to 188 months in prison in 2014 for operating a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors of more than $87 million. Galemmo used the money as his personal bank, paying country club fees, taking luxurious vacations and buying real estate, clothing and jewelry.

In 2010, the Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati and The Christ Hospital paid $110 million for violating the anti-kickback statute and False Claims Act by paying physicians for referring cardiac patients to The Christ Hospital.

Stewart resigned from the position in 2016 and became the managing director for the Draper Richards Kaplan foundation in Columbus, Ohio. He is also an adjunct law professor at Ohio State.

Alex Shumate

Alex Shumate is a long-time member of the Ohio State Board of Trustees, now in his third term.

Shumate served chairman of the board from 1997-98 and 2016-18, and as vice chair from 2011-12, when Meyer was hired by Ohio State. He has also served as chair of the university’s Presidential Search Committee twice.

From Shumate's Ohio State bio:

Alex Shumate is the managing partner of the Columbus office of the international law firm of Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP, where his duties include providing strategic and operational guidance in pursuing new business opportunities regionally, nationally and internationally, and in addressing issues that arise from the firm’s North American offices. He is consistently selected by his peers for inclusion in the annual Best Lawyers in America and as an Ohio Super Lawyer.


Mr. Shumate serves as a director of The J.M. Smucker Company and CyrusOne, Inc. He is president of The L Brands Foundation Board, secretary of the Columbus Partnership and board member of the Ohio Business Roundtable. He previously served as the chair of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, the Columbus Urban League and The James Foundation Board.

He received his Bachelor of Arts from Ohio Wesleyan University and his Juris Doctor from the University of Akron. He is a recipient of the Outstanding Alumni Award from the University of Akron School of Law and was named a Distinguished Alumnus by Ohio Wesleyan University. Before joining Squire Patton Boggs, he served as chief counsel and deputy chief of staff to the governor of the state of Ohio and as assistant attorney general for the state of Ohio.

Of the three Ohio State Board of Trustees members on the independent committee, Shumate has the most board experience by quite a large margin.

Alex Fischer

A current member of the Ohio State Board of Trustees, Alex Fischer is the president CEO of the Columbus Partnership, which is a collection of Columbus' top businesses leaders formed to "improve the economic and cultural base of central Ohio."

From Fischer's Ohio State bio:

The Columbus Partnership played a key role in winning the U.S. Department of Transportation's Smart City Challenge to bring $50 million of grant funding to the city and receiving official designation as the "Smart City" of North America. Mr. Fischer serves as co-chairman of Smart Columbus and leads the private-sector efforts to make Columbus a pioneer in smart mobility.

Mr. Fischer has been active on numerous for-profit boards and community organizations, including serving as the past chairman of the boards of Velocys, OmniViz and the SunTrust Bank of East Tennessee. He currently serves as chairman of Nationwide Children’s Hospital, which is ranked byU.S. News & World Report as one of the Best Children’s Hospitals in the country. It is one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit, freestanding pediatric health care networks, as well as home to one of the top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded, freestanding pediatric research facilities. Mr. Fischer also sits on the boards of Advanced Drainage Systems, Columbus 2020, Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship and the Ohio State Innovation Foundation.

Fischer was appointed to the board of trustees on July 3, 2014 and his term goes through May 13, 2023.

Janet Porter

One of the newer members of Ohio State's board of directors, Janet Porter is in just her second year on the board. She graduated from Ohio State with a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Health Administration and is an adjunct professor with the university in addition to being strongly involved in the medical field.

From Porter's Ohio State bio:

Janet Porter has 40 years of experience as a hospital administrator, teacher, association executive, consultant and public health leader. She joined Stroudwater Associates in 2012, and serves as a strategy, operational and leadership development consultant to academic medical centers, specialty hospitals, physician practices, pharmaceutical companies and national associations. She was elected to the Stroudwater Associates Board of Directors in 2015.

Dr. Porter has served as the chief operating officer of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; the associate dean of executive education at the University of North Carolina’s School of Public Health; the interim CEO of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA); and the vice president, and then COO, of Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Porter is no stranger to serving on boards. An active servant leader, she currently serves on the AARP board of directors, the Foster McGaw Committee of the American Hospital Association, the High Value Healthcare Collaborative Advisory Board, the Health Policy Issues Group, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center Board and The Ohio State University Alumni Association Board of Directors.

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