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Disbarred lawyer Stan Chesley resigns from University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees

Meeting held this afternoon

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CINCINNATI - Disbarred local lawyer Stan Chesley resigned from the University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees Wednesday evening after university faculty members approved a resolution asking him to step down.

The move is effective immediately, according to a statement from C. Francis Barrett, Chair of the UC Board of Trustees.

"The University is appreciative of Mr. Chesley's many years of service," Barrett wrote in the release.

UC President Santa Ono echoed those sentiments in a message to WCPO Digital: "I thank Stan Chesley for his service to UC over the years and wish him the very best in the future."

A special meeting was scheduled to take place Thursday to discuss Chesley's appointment to the board after faculty members voted overwhelmingly Wednesday afternoon to approve a resolution asking him to resign his position.

The resolution, obtained by WCPO Digital, notes that the university's board of trustees called upon Chesley to resign his position after he was disbarred by the Kentucky Supreme Court.

"Therefore, be it resolved: That the faculty of the University supports the actions of the University's board of trustees regarding Mr. Chesley's resignation from that body," the resolution states.

"Be it further resolved: That the faculty of the University calls upon Mr. Chesley to resign his position as a trustee on the University of Cincinnati board of trustees."

Only one person voted against the resolution at the all-faculty meeting, which was attended by a couple hundred UC faculty members, said Greg Loving, president of the UC chapter of the American Association of University Professor.

"I personally am in favor of it," he said of the resolution. "This is a major distraction, and the sooner we can get past this and get back to educating students, the better."

Loving said a concern was raised that such a vote amounted to public humiliation for Chesley, who has done a great deal for the university over the years. Otherwise, though, there was very little discussion about the matter, he said.

Chesley is a 1960 graduate of the UC College of Law. He was appointed to the university's board in 2009 for a nine-year term by then-Gov. Ted Strickland. He previously served on the board from 1985 through 1994.

The Kentucky Supreme Court disbarred Chesley last month over his actions in the settlement of a case related to the controversial diet drug known as Fen-Phen. He was also disbarred in the Eastern District of Michigan earlier this month. He faces disbarment in Ohio, too.

Chesley still has support in high places, though. Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory issued a letter dated April 16 asking the controversial lawyer to remain on UC's board.

"For over 50 years, Stan has been a leader in our community, contributing his time, his energy, and his resources to the improvement of our region," Mallory wrote. "Throughout his career, Stan has always stood up for people who need help."

Mallory ended his letter by writing a plea to Chesley directly: "Stan, ignore calls for your resignation and continue to provide your leadership to the University of Cincinnati. We need you there – fighting for what's right."

 

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