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Scaffolding being constructed around the LSU Memorial Tower encircles the building, waiting for completion and approval from structural engineers before the start of waterproofing work and renovations to the tower, or the Campanile, as it is sometimes called, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018. Associated Waterproofing Corporation president Martin Mapp said plaster repairs, crack injection, and expansion joint recaulking are part of his company's purview, with renovations and other work coming from others including general contractor Cangelosi Ward, Jerry M. Campbell & Associates Architects and Bob's Painting. The 175-foot clock tower near the center of campus was erected in 1923 and officially dedicated in 1926, standing as a memorial to Louisianans who died in World War I. The scaffolding construction has been under way for about two weeks.

One week after LSU announced that multiple administrators had been put on leave over questions about their handling of accusations about hazing at Delta Kappa Epsilon, the university has announced that an investigation has cleared them.

LSU never named the administrators on leave amid the investigation, citing their “right to privacy” under the state Constitution. But multiple people in the Greek community told The Advocate that they included Director of Greek Life Angela Guillory, Assistant Greek Life Director Donald Abels and Dean of Students Mari Fuentes-Martin.

The university hired the Taylor Porter law firm to investigate the administrators' handling of the hazing allegations. When The Advocate asked late Friday to review that investigation, LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard said, “we do not have a written report on its conclusions.”

Jason Droddy, LSU’s interim vice president for strategic communications, said in a statement that the investigation “fully exonerated” the officials after questions were raised about whether they knew about hazing at DKE. 

“External evaluators interviewed and collected information from the LSU and non-LSU parties involved, and concluded there was no credible information available to the LSU officials that they could have used to initiate an investigation,” Droddy said.

Abels and Guillory appeared to celebrate the results of the investigation late Friday, as he posted a photo of them at Juban’s to Facebook. He captioned it: “The truth will stand when nothing else will.”

This is not the first time that the actions of LSU administrators in relation to hazing allegations in the Greek community have come under scrutiny. Nearly a year before Max Gruver died during an initiation ritual at the Phi Delta Theta house in 2017, LSU administrators received warnings about that fraternity.

Both a parent and a student warned LSU officials in the fall of 2016 that Phi Delta Theta members were “sleeping in their own puke,” hazing pledges during tailgates and more. But LSU responded with a relatively modest punishment: a five-week interim suspension of activities. It was not until Gruver’s death that they moved to shut down the fraternity's LSU chapter.

The LSU chapter of DKE was shut down last month after a grandfather saw bruises and other wounds on his grandson, who was a pledge, and called the national DKE organization to report hazing allegations. That led to an investigation by the national organization, which announced it was shutting down the chapter.

Nine members of the fraternity were later arrested on hazing counts. Arrest affidavits said pledges were being forced to lie on glass, and that they were urinated on, doused in gasoline, beaten with pipes and more.

While many onlookers were shocked by those sordid details, some local and national Greek leaders were not surprised that DKE was fingered as a hotbed of problems.

"The IFC community knew that there weren't a bunch of altar boys over there, and that things just weren't right at DKE," former Interfraternity Council President council president Christopher Dupré said a week ago. "This is a very isolated group that kind of just did things on their own."

And David Easlick, the national fraternity's former longtime executive director, told The Advocate earlier this week that he and many others had long known the LSU chapter was a problem. Easlick said he did not know how LSU officials could have been unaware of the problems.

“There is nobody associated with the fraternity in any way who doesn’t know this crap is going on,” Easlick said.

Advocate contributor Jacqueline DeRobertis contributed to this report.


Follow Andrea Gallo on Twitter, @aegallo.​