Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin says he has no plans “at this time” to ask for the resignation of West Virginia University Board of Governors Chairman Drew Payne.

A report released this week by state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said Payne should have recused himself during discussions at WVU about the athletic department’s third-tier media rights proposals. Payne is an investor with West Virginia Media Holdings, which had the inside track to be a subcontractor if IMG College got the contract.

MetroNews asked Tomblin about the AG’s report Wednesday and if he would be asking Payne to step down.

“The attorney general has concluded there were things done sloppy but he didn’t really say there had been a violation of the law or anything,” the governor said. “Unless there would be something further come out, I would not ask for the resignation at this time.”

AG Morrisey’s did say the work on the third-tier contract had significant errors and general sloppiness. He also concluded there was no intentional wrongdoing.

Morrisey recommended the contract be rebid and WVU has agreed to do so.

WVU President Jim Clements said Wednesday and entire new committee will be named for the rebidding.

“WVU Procurement will announce a new reconstituted committee in the near future; none of the 6 members will be reappointed. As I’ve said, the goal is to get this process right; we will take the time we need to address the deficiencies noted in the Attorney General’s report,” Clements said.

WVU Athletic Director Oliver Luck led the initial committee.

The governor appoints members to the boards of governors that oversee colleges and universities in the state. State code gives the governor the power to remove members from a board, without them resigning, but that can prove to be a very difficult process.

State code says a member of a higher education governing board cannot be removed by the governor except for “official misconduct, incompetence, neglect of duty or gross immorality and then only in the manner prescribed by law for the removal of the state elective officers by the governor.” And that could include a hearing before the governor with possible witnesses and documented evidence. There’s also an appeal process.

Chairman Payne said earlier this week he hopes the Board of Governors can fine tune its process “so we can do a better job of identifying possible conflicts or problems going forward.”

AD Luck has admitted his conservations with Payne were wrong.

Attorney General Morrisey’s report also said WVU BOG member David Alvarez, who also has ties with West Virginia Media, should have recused himself.

WVU suspended the process of signing of contract for its third-tier rights after Morgantown businessman and West Virginia Radio Corp. owner John Raise pointed out possible problems with the process.

The university plans to rebid the contract soon. It notified all of the previous bidders Tuesday. There’s been no announcement who will be on the committee or if AD Luck will stay as chairman.


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  • cutty77

    Lets Put Honest John Raese on This Committee. He said he wasn't going to re-Bid anyway. Plus he knows so much about this.He would be a perfect person. Then he could investagate Himself. LOL

  • wvrefugee

    Payne and Alvarez both need to go!!!!! Clearly a conflict of interest! How do you think Cam Payne played hoops for WVU?????

    BOG position better than the Governors job!!!

  • Levelheaded

    Cut him a break. Most of the "good ole boys" haven't figured out yet that West Virginia is changing, but if they want to stay out of jail they had better, figure it out.

  • hughesknight

    'At this time" most revealing comment in interview.

  • cutty77

    Mr Payne Has done alot of great things at and for WVU. I wish we could ask some of these Off base Reporters to resign. LOL You notice none of them ever get hired by other people.

    • wvrefugee

      DP hasn't done ONE THING for the University unless he has benefitted himself!

    • cutty77

      I like Jeff Jenkins but i'm getting tired of this Witch-Hunt by WVRC on WVU,Oliver,Drew,and Dr.Clements. Its getting Old and The Stories worn out.

  • James

    He shouldn't have to be asked. He should resign in the best interest of the University, that he claims to love so much. Alvarez too. Both were named as findings in the report. Step aside, apologize, and let the U move on. Instead, they will stonewall and let their arrogance and pride take the lead.....and we will be in the same boat as a few years ago when Mike Garrison's people did the same thing.

    • Luke

      I agree. There should be no need to ask him to resign. I don't give a rat's behind what he has done or claims to have done for the University. He has damaged the University's reputation and he should go. I'm surprised that his fellow BOG members aren't openly asking him to do so. There are at least four lawyers on that Board who ought to be showing him the door.

      • DrJohn

        There was one lawyer who was complicit with Mr Payne in this mess. Don't expect anything from the BOG on this.

  • Roger

    Illegal? Maybe not, but certainly unethical. Hasn't WVU had enough legal/ethical questions dating back to the Manchin/Bresch days?

  • C.Hoffman

    "Significant errors and general sloppiness". This doesn't meet incompetence and neglect of duty under the governor's power to remove? They don't even try to hide their corruption anymore. Scary!

  • thornton

    I'll try again, it's worth it:

  • thornton

    Tomblin & Payne