ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--After more than three years, the State of Georgia’s Attorney General’s Office, working on behalf of Georgia Tech, sought to obtain an indictment today against professors Julie Jacko, PhD, and Francois Sainfort, PhD, concerning various allegations arising from their previous employment at Georgia Tech and their decision to leave Georgia Tech and transfer to the University of Minnesota. At the time of this release, a copy of the Indictment has not been made available.
Georgia Tech has previously claimed that the professors hid their decision to leave and wrongfully took their compensation from Georgia Tech in late 2007/early 2008, after accepting employment at the University of Minnesota.
“The facts show that the professors worked tirelessly during that time for Georgia Tech, thereby earning this money, and made no secret that they were leaving the University,” said Martin B. Goldberg, an attorney at Lash & Goldberg, who has represented the professors during the investigation. “Indeed, despite Georgia Tech’s allegations of fraud and secrecy, the University actually held a ‘going away party’ for the professors.”
Georgia Tech also claims the professors took money via double travel reimbursements, all arising from a flawed process at Georgia Tech susceptible to mistakes by all involved; a process that was revised after this matter arose.
Georgia Tech also claims a relative, Robert Jacko, received monies for work he did not perform on a privately funded project. The evidence shows that Mr. Jacko’s work, performed over the period of nearly a year, was needed, was performed, and did in fact assist in the completion of a successful research endeavor.
In responding to the indictment on the professors’ behalf, Goldberg said, “Drs. Sainfort and Jacko are devastated by this attempt to criminalize their decision to leave Georgia Tech, yet they remain steadfast and committed to addressing their innocence through the judicial process.” He also added, “The way this matter was handled over the past three years by Georgia Tech sends a scary and chilling message to other successful professors and employees at that institution.”
“Dr. Sainfort regrets that Georgia Tech has sought to prosecute this matter and looks forward to having all the facts presented,” said Buddy Parker, an attorney with Maloy Jenkins Parker who represents Sainfort.
Added Robert Rubin, an attorney with Peters Rubin & Sheffield, representing Jacko, “Dr. Jacko has always been forthright and honest in her dealings with Georgia Tech and fully expects to be exonerated at trial.”
Attorney Bruce Morris, representing Robert Jacko, said in response to the Indictment, “Robert Jacko is completely innocent of these charges.”
The attorneys also noted that both Sainfort and Jacko have enjoyed illustrious careers.
Sainfort is the Mayo Professor in the Division of Health Policy and Management in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota. His research and expertise focus on helping patients and consumers make better decisions about their own health, especially under conditions of risk and uncertainty. Sainfort has been awarded research funding from various sources totaling more than $18 million in grants and contracts. He has published more than 145 refereed publications that have appeared in premiere health care journals, including the first handbook on operations research and health care. Sainfort is a current or past editorial board member for several leading journals in the field. He has served as chair of key scientific conferences and has served on numerous scientific and organizing committees for professional societies. He routinely serves on national and international panels in the United States, Canada and Europe. He received his Engineer Diploma, DEA, and Doctorate from the prestigious Ecole Centrale in Paris, France.
Jacko is a Professor of Public Health at the University of Minnesota and a Faculty Fellow in the Academic Health Center’s Institute for Health Informatics. Her expertise is the design, implementation and evaluation of interactive computing systems in complex domains such as healthcare and healthcare delivery, with the goal of enhancing human performance and patient health. Jacko has an exemplary research track record spanning a period of 17 years in which more than 160 scientific publications have been published. She has generated nearly $15 million in research funding in the last 10 years and was one of only 20 recipients of a National Science Foundation Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor awarded young investigators by the United States government. On September 14, 2010, she was named one of the Top Ten Most Influential Informatics Professors by HealthTechTopia. Jacko received her BS, MS, and PhD in Industrial & Systems Engineering from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, where she held the NEC Graduate Fellowship.
For Further Media Inquires:
|Buddy Parker, Esq.: 404-875-2700|
|Robert Rubin, Esq.: 404-296-5300|
|Bruce Morris, Esq.: 404-262-2500|
|Martin Goldberg, Esq.: 305-347-4040|
|The Murry Agency, Richard Murry: 305-531-5720|