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Strip clubs, drugs, memory loss: Bulleted list of Urban Meyer investigation

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The long await for Urban Meyer’s fate has finally ended: 3-game suspension. Gene Smith joins Meyer on the time-out bench with an unpaid leave from Gene Smith from August 31 to September 16.

Since the repercussion for mishandling former assistant coach Zach Smith’s domestic abuse allegations have been handed down, more details about the investigation have hit the fan.

Here are some key findings, per The Dispatch:

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  • Zach Smith took high school coaches and an unnamed Buckeyes coach to a strip club, spending upwards of $600 of his personal funds, while on an OSU recruiting trip in Florida in May 2014.
  • Meyer heard about the incident but did not know how much was spent at the club and failed to report it to the compliance department.
  • Meyer threatened Smith to fire him if it happened again and required a “morality claus” to be put in coaches’ contracts.
  • Powell police investigated Zach Smith for 15 months regarding domestic violence and cyber offenses against his then wife Courtney Smith that lasted through 2016.
  • OSU’s Title IX compliance officer got wind of the investigation and notified Gene Smith who then notified Meyer at a practice. Upset, Meyer and Gene Smith ordered Zach Smith return from a recruiting trip.
  • Meyer and Gene Smith confronted Zach Smith and told him, “if you hit her, you are fired.”
  • Shelley Meyer said she never told Urban Meyer about the text messages Courtney Smith sent to her about Zach Smith’s abuse in 2015 because she doubted the allegations.
  • Investigators’ reaction: “Given the closeness of their relationship and Shelley’s concerns, we believe it is likely that Shelley and Urban Meyer had at least some communication about these allegations in late 2015 and were concerned about them.”
  • In the midst of the divorce in 2016, Zach Smith went off the deep end—showing up late for practices and workouts and lying about attending high school recruiting trips.
  • Zach Smith had sex with a secretary of the football program which went unreported.
  • He took sexually explicit photos of himself while at the White House and the football facilities in April 2015 after the team won a national championship.
  • He also had had sex toys delivered to athletics facilities. Meyer and Gene Smith were aware of this.
  • Zach Smith checked into a drug treatment facility in June 2016 for an addiction to a prescription drug to treat ADHD. Meyer advised Smith to check into the facility.
  • Meyer’s lie about knowledge of the 2015 domestic abuse allegations against Zach Smith was likely a result of his health, incorrect media report, and confusing text messages from staff.
  • Texts show Meyer was told there was no record of any arrest in 2015, contradicting a media report.
  • He told reporters at the Big Ten Media Day that he was not aware of any incident in 2015, though he actually was.
  • Investigators discovered that Meyer has memory issues and sometimes takes medications that impairs his memory.
  • Upon learning of the initial report from Brett Murphy that Shelley had become aware of Courtney Smith’s allegations, staff member Brian Voltolini linked up with Meyer and together, they worked to delete text messages older than a year from Meyer’s phone.
  • When Meyer turned over his phone on August 2, there were only texts from the last year on it.
  • Investigators found the action of deleting messages “concerning.”
  • The report detailed that Meyer and Gene Smith were both required to report issues such as the allegations against Zach Smith to the compliance department. Meyer simply reporting to Gene Smith was not good enough.
  • Meyer and Smith said that the lack of law enforcement or court action played a part in their decision to not take the Zach Smith allegations to the compliance department.
  • Per the report: “Repeatedly, Zach Smith’s conduct was met with reprimands and warnings by Coach Meyer, but never a written report, never an investigation and no disciplinary action until July 23, 2018. While we do not doubt that Coach Meyer respects women and is dedicated to fostering an environment of respect for women in his program, his apparent blind spot for Zach Smith seems to have impaired his judgment and his management of the behavior of at least one of his assistants.”

Read the full report here.

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Biz + Dev

Proposed Brewery District development could change skyline

614now Staff

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The Brewery district could be the site of a massive new construction project according to a report from ABC6.

During a meeting of The Brewery District Commission this week, North Carolina builder Zimmer Development Company and architectural firm NBBJ proposed a 30-story building complex to be developed on a 17-acre plot of land on West Whittier Street. The land is situated near Scioto Audubon Metro Park on the Whittier Peninsula.

According to the plan outlined by the developers, construction of the project would be broken up into three phases to be completed over 10-15 years. When complete, the complex would include over 370 apartments, 79-thousand square feet of office space, retail and restaurant space, outdoor patios, and a nearly 600-car garage.

Aside from the construction process itself, the proposed project will need to overcome a few hurdles in order to move forward. The proposed site of the building is currently owned by the company CSX, and also happens to reside on a flood plain.

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Crime

2 recent attempted abduction reports raise human trafficking concerns

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Two recent police reports have local families questioning whether they had a brush with human traffickers.

The first incident involved 18-year-old Kennedy Stokes, who said she and her cousin were approached by two men at a Walmart on November 21, reports 10TV. Stokes said the men tried talking to them several times and felt they were following them.

The next day, Strokes was experiencing car problems on her way home. She made it to the entrance of her apartment complex and got out to check under the hood. That's when a man approached and began grabbing at her.

Stokes noted he was wearing gloves and appeared to have a box cutter in his hand, reports 10TV. She was able to escape his grasp and suffered scratches on her chest.

Stokes believes it was one of the men from Walmart.

The second incident happened 14 miles away at a UDF on Indianola on the same day Stokes said she was attacked, reports 10TV.

A mother and her 12-year-old son were filling up at the gas station. She then went inside to pay, leaving her son in the locked vehicle.

When she returned, she said her son was visibly shaken up. He told her a man was yanking on the door handle, trying to get inside the vehicle. According to 10TV, the man didn't say anything, he only looked inside at the boy.

A security camera captured the incident, and police are currently reviewing the footage.

Both incidents have those involved wondering if they narrowly escaped a case of human trafficking. 10TV reports police are investigating both reports, including identification of suspects and motives.

For more on human trafficking, visit humantrafficking.ohio.gov.

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News

Downtown Parking is changing again. Take survey to sound off

614now Staff

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Sick and tired of the parking situation Downtown, or perfectly happy with things just the way they are? Either way, now's your chance to let your opinion be heard.

According to a report from the Columbus Dispatch, Columbus parking officials are planning changes for Downtown parking meters. In February, all current Downtown meters will be changed to either "30-minutes," "three-hours", or "unlimited time, 50-cents-an-hour."

The unlimited meters would be enforced from 8 AM to 6 PM, Mondays through Saturdays. The 30-minute and three-hour meters be in effect from 8 AM through 10 PM, Mondays through Saturdays.

It was also announced that the city plans to eliminate 150 to 200 meters in the summer of 2020. In their place, people will now be expected to use the ParkColumbus smartphone app, which has already been implemented in areas like the Short North and Arena District. Current free parking areas Downtown will remain free.

The city plans to evaluate how the new system is working six months after the changes go into effect. The city has also provided an online survey to help gauge what people would like to see in the future of Downtown parking.

Visit www.parkcolumbus.com to take the survey, and you could be one of 10 participants who will win $50 Parking Smart Gift Cards that can be used at any city of Columbus parking meter.

Surveys must be completed by Friday, December 6. Winners will be notified by email.

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