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The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has launched an investigation of Baylor University in response to a complaint former Title IX Coordinator Patty Crawford filed.

Staff photo— Rod Aydelotte, file

Patty Crawford continued to criticize her former employer Thursday, writing in a Facebook post about the “cowardly and dishonest mentality of the millionaires running Baylor.”

Crawford resigned Monday as Baylor University’s first full-time Title IX coordinator, a role she held since 2014.

“They’re escalating discrimination, retaliation, trying to buy my integrity and now bullying their way through the media,” Crawford wrote.

She was placed on administrative leave and told to leave her office Sept. 29 and removed from the Baylor online network the next day, she stated in the post. Crawford wrote that she learned of a meeting among senior leaders, where chief human resources officer Cheryl Gochis said “ongoing performance issues” led to the decision.

She also learned she would not be presenting to the board of regents Oct. 13 in her usual time slot and had been removed from the meeting agenda, she wrote.

Crawford alleges she was being “directly manipulated and harassed by a select group of powerful leaders,” and she filed complaints to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and Baylor’s human resources department Sept. 26 and 27, she wrote.

Crawford has said she was kept from meetings and conversations the Title IX coordinator should have been part of.

Former Baylor President Ken Starr told an ESPN reporter in New York he takes Crawford’s claims seriously, according to a story published Thursday.

“I have to [take it seriously]. I take all criticism that is made in good faith seriously, and Patty is a very good person,” Starr said, according to the story. Starr was in New York speaking at Columbia University.

Her lawyer, Rogge Dunn, said in a Thursday interview he will release the Office for Civil Rights complaint, which contains specifics of Crawford’s allegations, only if given permission by the federal government.

“The allegations are that I never had the authority, resources or the independence to do the job appropriately, which the Department of Education writes in its guidance for Title IX coordinators and universities,” Crawford said in a Wednesday interview on “CBS This Morning.”

She has yet to name the senior leaders who allegedly prevented her from doing her job and retaliated against her.

“She has given that information to the Department of Education,” Dunn said. “So I would say at least for the next month, she’s going to let that process work its way through.”

Dunn said he will consider all legal options but is focusing on the federal complaint.

“I’m concentrating my efforts to get the government to investigate fully, and I think they are,” Dunn said. “Patty is trying to get a meeting with them as soon as possible.”

Crawford also wrote that Baylor has hired a crisis-based public relations firm for the past year.

“Baylor University leadership understands the critical importance of the Title IX Office,” according to a Baylor statement in response to Crawford’s post. “Additional staff, budget and support resources have been provided to facilitate the work of the office, and the University will continue providing the necessary support to the Title IX team. Title IX Coordinator Kristan Tucker will oversee a fair and equitable Title IX process and manage the work of a strong and responsive group of professionals.

“The Office and its staff have the authority and autonomy to carry out their duties, serve the needs of students, engage others on campus for support and manage all responsibilities of the office. The entire University community remains committed to supporting the work of the Title IX Office as they lead our efforts in prevention, response and compassionate care for those who experience interpersonal violence.”

Baylor board Chairman Ron Murff and interim President David Garland have not responded to messages since Tuesday.

A Baylor statement Tuesday night said Crawford demanded $1 million, plus movie and book rights. Dunn fired back, claiming Baylor is in violation of state law for publicly discussing details of a mediation session.

Crawford’s demands were made in advance of the mediation, and Baylor is not violating Texas law by disclosing them, Baylor spokeswoman Tonya Lewis said Wednesday.

‘Consider the source’

“They didn’t say from the get-go this was said before the mediation,” Dunn said. “Consider the source and consider the credibility. If everything they said was true, they would’ve had one story from the very beginning.”

Dunn said Baylor bought the silence of Starr, former football coach Art Briles and former athletics director Ian McCaw.

“This is another sad example of Baylor retaliating against women,” Dunn said. “Baylor feels it’s OK to violate Texas law and leak settlement discussions about a woman but not men. Patty has resigned and has stepped forward to reveal the truth. Baylor doesn’t like the message, so it’s retaliating again against Patty to try and discredit the message.”

Starr and Briles were fired as president and head football coach, respectively, May 26, the same day regents outlined a “fundamental failure” campuswide in implementing Title IX. They made the announcement after a nine-month investigation by Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton LLP. McCaw was sanctioned, placed on probation and resigned days later.

In her Thursday post, Crawford urged the Baylor community to support its Title IX office and Tucker, the new coordinator. Tucker was previously Baylor’s senior deputy coordinator.

“They’re incredible, and the workload is overwhelming,” Crawford wrote. “They deserve real institutional support, resources and independence to serve all of you well.”

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