Associated Press, Published December 29 2012
Minnesota State, Mankato, coach to seek reinstatement as head coachMANKATO, Minn. — A Minnesota state university has reassigned its football coach to an administrative role, a month after he was cleared of child pornography charges that stemmed from cellphone videos of his naked children clowning around after a bath.
An attorney for Todd Hoffner immediately said his client would fight the move and seek reinstatement as head coach at Minnesota State, Mankato.
Hoffner has been given the position of assistant athletic director for facilities development, effective immediately, the university said in a news release issued late Friday. Hoffner would be responsible for helping develop the school's master plan for athletics and recreation facilities, the university said.
The school has no comment on whether Hoffner's reassignment was a mutual decision, university spokesman Dan Benson said in an email to the AP.
Hoffner's civil attorney, Chris Madel, told the Star Tribune that his client has no intentions of abiding by the university's decision.
"We intend to fight the university until Mr. Hoffner is restored as head coach of the successful football team he created," Madel told the newspaper.
The Associated Press left phone messages seeking comment by Madel and the attorney for Hoffner's union Friday night.
The school said Aaron Keen will remain acting head football coach for the Mavericks. Keen acted as head coach all season.
"Minnesota State Mankato will be making additional decisions regarding the head football coach position in the coming weeks," the news release said.
The Free Press of Mankato reported that Hoffner asked for an injunction earlier this month to keep the police investigative reports in his case sealed after a Twin Cities television station asked to see them. Hoffer is seeking a temporary restraining order that would keep anyone from disseminating the investigative file.
District Court Judge Krista Jass ruled last week that the reports will remain private until they can be reviewed, according to the newspaper.
Jass ordered prosecutors to gather all investigative reports and turn them over to Hoffner's attorney, Jim Fleming, who has said releasing the documents would "irreparably harm" his client. He'll be allowed to file a sealed list of information that he believes should be kept from the public. After receiving Fleming's list, Jass will decide what should remain sealed.
Hoffner was charged with possession of child porn in August after school officials found videos of his naked children on his work-issued cellphone, which he had turned in to be repaired. Jass dismissed the criminal charges last month after concluding that the short videos of his children acting silly after a bath were not child porn and showed nothing illegal.
Last week, the university said Hoffner was no longer on administrative leave but that it hadn't reinstated him as coach. The university didn't give reasons for the decision, citing data privacy laws. But the school did say in the statement it was still investigating a complaint against Hoffner. University officials didn't elaborate.
Connie Howard, an attorney for the union representing Hoffner, told the AP by email last week that Hoffner was being suspended without pay for 20 days starting Jan. 7. She didn't give the reason for the suspension, but said the union was challenging it.
It's not clear where the suspension stands now that the university has reassigned Hoffner.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.