Judge denies ex-band director access to Ohio State PR advice

In an order Wednesday, District Judge James Graham upheld a magistrate's earlier decision denying Waters copies of the documents

In this Nov. 19, 2013 photo, Ohio State University marching band director Jon Waters poses for a photograph at the Steinbrener Band Center in Ohio Stadium before practice, in Columbus Ohio. (AP Photo/The Columbus Dispatch, Eamon Queeney)
In this Nov. 19, 2013 photo, Ohio State University marching band director Jon Waters poses for a photograph at the Steinbrener Band Center in Ohio Stadium before practice, in Columbus Ohio. (AP Photo/The Columbus Dispatch, Eamon Queeney)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – A federal judge has upheld Ohio State University’s request to shield its communications with professional public relations consultants from former band director Jonathan Waters.

In an order Wednesday, District Judge James Graham upheld a magistrate’s earlier decision denying Waters copies of the documents.

Waters’ attorneys argued the records are public and may support Waters’ assertion that Ohio State had gender-related motives in terminating him in July 2014.

Graham said his private review of the records found advice for spinning the situation in the university’s favor, but no hint that the school sought to scapegoat Waters or use his firing to appease federal civil-rights investigators probing Ohio State’s handling of sexual harassment claims.

Waters has denied allegations that he ignored a “sexualized culture” inside the celebrated band. His suit seeks reinstatement.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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