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UAPD confidentiality may halt Phi Psi investigation

UA Greek Life's potential investigation into fraternity members' involvement in the mass theft of Daily Wildcat newspapers will automatically expire if the University of Arizona Police Department does not release police reports on the incident.


About 10,000 newspapers were stolen from Daily Wildcat stands on Oct. 8. Several thousand of the stolen newspapers were found on the western outskirts of Tucson the next day, along with Spanish homework bearing the names of UA students Nick Kovaleski and Alex Cornell, who are both members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.

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The fraternity's president and vice president originally would neither confirm nor deny Phi Kappa Psi's involvement in the mass theft. Phi Kappa Psi President Keith Peters later told the Daily Wildcat the fraternity would be carrying out an internal investigation.


Greek Life is currently obligated to begin looking into the case because of the completion of an official complaint report finalized and filed by the Daily Wildcat to Greek Life on Monday. However, such an investigation would be largely incomplete without police reports of the incident, which were filed by the Daily Wildcat on Oct. 8 and 9, said Jenny Nirh, senior coordinator for Fraternity and Sorority Programs within Greek Life.


UAPD will not release the reports linking Kovaleski and Cornell to the stolen newspapers until the investigation is no longer ongoing, said Sgt. Juan Alvarez, UAPD public information officer.


The Greek Judicial Board's deadline to conduct a hearing with the fraternity is Nov. 4. Such a hearing would be impossible without a full Greek Life investigation, complete with police reports, Nirh said.


Because the subjects of Greek Life hearings must be notified a minimum of five days in advance of a hearing, UAPD would need to release the police reports to Greek Life by Oct. 30 in order for the organization to carry out a hearing with Phi Kappa Psi, Nirh added.


Alvarez said he was unsure whether UAPD would close the case and make reports available to Greek Life by the Oct. 30 deadline.


Greek Life would normally be able to push the hearing back a week to Nov. 11, but since that day is Veteran's Day, the earliest possible hearing with the Greek Judicial Board would be Nov. 18, well past Greek Life's deadline to hold a hearing for the case, Nirh said.


""By then,"" she said, ""it would be too late.""


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UA COVID-19 Test Tracker

Daily (11/24)
1,344 22 1.6%
Total (8/2)
60,367 957 1.6%
Includes tests since August 2, 2021
Data from https://covid19.arizona.edu/updates
Updated November 24, 2021