JEFFERSON CITY - The University of Missouri's new president has determined the institution acted properly in dealing with the 1996 candidacy of Rep. Chuck Graham, D-Columbia, when he first ran for the Missouri House while still an employee of the university.
"I have concluded that Graham's supervisors acted appropriately in informing him of his options," after filing for office, Pacheco wrote in a response to Dan Judy, chairman of the Boone County Republican Central Committee.
The Republicans sent their letter to Pacheco Dec. 9, 1997, a year after Graham defeated Republican Donna Spickert.
Graham said the Republicans waited to ask for the inquiry so that they could use the issue to embarass him in the 1998 elections.
"What they want is some official governing body to say I did something wrong so they can use it to attack me in my campaign," Graham said.
"We felt it was something that hadn't been answered and we wanted an investigation of our own," Judy said.
University regulations prohibit employees from running for full-time political office. Graham said he believes state representative is a part-time position.
However, after former President George Russell determined in spring of 1996 that the legislative position is full-time, Graham took an unpaid leave of absence from his job.
Graham then went to work for Services for Independent Living, a not-for profit entity which did some subcontracted work for the university. Pacheco also dismissed charges by the Republicans that Graham's duties there were the same as his former position with the university.