The resignations of Francois Sainfort and Julie Jacko were announced by email inside Minnesota’s School of Public Health in recent days and confirmed by university officials, the Star Tribune reported Wednesday.
General Counsel Mark Rotenberg told the newspaper Tuesday that the professors, who are married, faced pending disciplinary charges when they left, but he couldn’t give details because they are no longer employees. He said he was under the belief that neither professor received or will receive severance pay.
Sainfort and Jacko declined to comment on why they left or what they will do next.
Minnesota outbid Georgia Tech in 2007 to recruit the couple, who had the potential to attract millions of dollars of research funding. But it later learned they were under contract to Georgia Tech while working at Minnesota. The case led to grand jury indictments in Georgia, reprimands and demotions at Minnesota, and tens of thousands of dollars in restitution payments.
Georgia prosecutors dropped charges against Jacko last spring in exchange for an Alford plea on a single count by Sainfort, in which he maintained his innocence but acknowledged there was sufficient evidence to convict him. The count accused him of lying in an email about his dual employment. He was sentenced to probation and ordered to pay restitution.