Lawyer approving Rice suspension resigns
by Keith Sargeant, USA TODAY Sports
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — John B. Wolf, Rutgers’ former interim senior vice president and general counsel, has agreed to resign from the university effective immediately.
The decision was announced by mutual agreement with Rutgers President Robert L. Barchi.
Wolf has been cited as being the person who recommended former Rutgers Athletics Director Tim Pernetti be suspended against firing now-deposed Scarlet Knights men’s basketball coach Mike Rice following an investigation into tapes that showed Rice physically and verbally abusing his players.
The university said Wolf agreed to work with the new general counsel to assure a smooth transition as the July 1 effective date of the Medical and Health Sciences Education Restructuring Act approaches.
“While I regret the circumstances surrounding my departure from Rutgers, I always will have very fond memories of the challenges and achievements that I have been a part of and the many colleagues and friends, both inside and outside the university, with whom I have worked at Rutgers since 1984,” Wolf said in a statement. “I wish Rutgers well.”
Wolf was forced to resign from his position as the university’s top legal counsel last Wednesday amid fallout from the Rice scandal. In announcing Pernetti’s resignation Friday, Barchi said that Wolf resigned from his position as interim senior vice president and general counsel but didn’t elaborate.
Wolf is the fourth Rutgers employee to lose is job amid the scandal, including Rice, assistant coach Jimmy Martelli and Pernetti, who accepted a $1.2 million settlement to resign by mutual agreement with the university.
After New Jersey Press Media reported Monday that Wolf had been reassigned within the legal department, Rutgers officials clarified Wolf’s demotion Tuesday by saying the resident of the Kendall Park section of South Brunswick no longer will hold a leadership position and has returned to a position as a university attorney.
News of Wolf’s reassignment as he maintained his salary of $280,775 didn’t sit well with state leaders, including Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, D-Essex/Passaic, who called it “an insult to taxpayers and the Rutgers community.”
Barchi and other university officials blamed their legal counsel for contributing to the initial decision to suspend Rice instead of firing … [For more on Rutgers lawyer approving Mike Rice suspension resigns, click here.]