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January 25, 2016

Donor's 'Lewd' Acts Raised in Koret Foundation Court Fight

A research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution claims in court papers filed this week that the university ignored sexual harassment allegations against a leading donor, Bay Area real-estate mogul Tad Taube, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

In a sworn statement, Hoover researcher Tammy Frisby writes that several of her colleagues complained of "lewd" behavior by the 84-year-old philanthropist, who has given or directed tens of millions of dollars to the conservative think tank and other Stanford facilities. The filing Wednesday is related to lawsuits arising from a power struggle at the Koret Foundation, of which Mr. Taube is president emeritus.

Ms. Frisby alleges that Stanford officials "turned a blind eye" to Mr. Taube's behavior so as not to curtail his largesse. A Taube spokesman termed the accusations "character assassination" promulgated by representatives of Susan Koret, the foundation's lifetime board chair, who is battling Mr. Taube in court over disagreements about giving priorities.

Stanford spokeswoman Lisa Lapin said outside investigators hired by the university to look into complaints at Hoover and Stanford's Graduate School of Business found "issues related to some communications and the style of discussions" but uncovered "no systemic discrimination or sexual harassment."