Citadel Board of Visitors discusses investigation, lawsuit during 8-hour meeting

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - After more than eight hours, the executive session of The Citadel's Board of Visitors ended late Tuesday night. The group decided that instead of hiring an outside company to conduct an investigation into how The Citadel handled a 2007 incident involving alleged sex abuse, the school will work with the Attorney General's office.

The board went into executive session just after 2 p.m. to talk about contractual and legal matters related to external consultants and a lawsuit filed Friday. The meeting ended after 10 p.m. The group discussed in length and behind closed doors, the latest lawsuit surrounding allegations of child sex abuse and how to handle an internal investigation.

The meeting stems from a lawsuit filed by Georgetown attorney Ed Bell who represents a former camper who alleges that he was sexually assaulted by former Marine Corps officer Michael Arpaio at one of The Citadel's summer camps.

The board also discussed contractual matters dealing with Guide Post Solutions, an independent company considered to investigate how The Citadel handled a 2007 incident involving alleged child predator Louis ReVille.

Instead, board chairman Doug Snyder says The Citadel will be working with the South Carolina Attorney General's office to conduct an outside investigation.

"We want to work with the Attorney General's office because it's important we're accountable and transparent and independent," Snyder said. "I believe going through the Attorney General's office gives much more independence than a board hiring a private firm to come in and do independent investigation, so we were much more pleased with the effects we'll have through the Attorney General's office."

The Attorney General's office says it doesn't want to get involved until law enforcement is finished investigating. The State Law Enforcement Divisions is still investigating the criminal aspects of the case.

The Citadel's president, Lieutenant General John Rosa, held a press conference last week to confront allegations that The Citadel didn't do enough while investigating a 2007 complaint of child sex abuse against ReVille.

Snyder sent a letter to Attorney General Alan Wilson on Saturday, asking for an outside investigation. When asked about Rosa's future with the school Tuesday, Snyder said Tuesday's  Board of Visitors meeting was not about Rosa.

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