Report: Ex-Florida chief justice named Jameis Winston's hearing officer

Thursday October 23rd, 2014

Former Florida Supreme Court chief justice Major Harding has been chosen as the hearing officer for Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston's disciplinary hearing, reports WCTV.

Harding told the television station he hasn't been given the name of the student involved but did confirm that he's been chosen as the officer for a student's hearing.

Winston currently faces the university hearing over a potential student code of conduct violation for the allegation he sexually assaulted a female student in December 2012.

The university isn't allowed to comment on the hearing by law, but Winston's lawyer David Cornwell said last week that Winston is cooperating in the hearing process and complied with its first deadline.

McCANN: Florida State's Winston hearing faces many legal hurdles

Winston never faced charges for the alleged assault after a state's attorney office investigation last year concluded there wasn't sufficient evidence in the case to proceed. Authorities have been criticized for being slow to act in investigating the woman's claim, and it was reported earlier this month that university administrators and Tallahassee police took steps to "hide and then hinder" an investigation.

Earlier this week, it was reported Winston wasn't considering dropping out of Florida State despite the impending hearing and a separate investigation into the possibility of violations involving autographs. Florida State said it had "no information" that Winston had committed any violations.

Winston was also cited for shoplifting this spring and was suspended for the Seminoles' game against Clemson after using obscene language on campus.

Harding, 79, was a member of the Florida Supreme Court from 1991 until 2002, serving on the body during the electoral dispute involving Al Gore and George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential election. He was chief justice of the court from 1998 to 2000.

•​ North Carolina releases Wainstein report on academic scandal

A date for Winston's hearing hasn't yet been chosen.

Ben Estes


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