UC Davis Stats Falsifier Arrested
DEC. 15, 2010
By K. LLOYD BILLINGSLEY
Jennifer Beeman, the former UC Davis official who falsified campus sexual assault statistics, was arrested on Dec. 9 and charged with nine felonies of misusing public funds, embezzlement and false accounting. The arrest followed a year-long investigation.
“There were a tremendous amount of records that had to be requested, received, and then reviewed,” said UC Davis chief of police Annette Spicuzza. “We wanted to be careful and complete.”
For 16 years, Beeman headed the UC Davis Campus Violence Prevention Program (CVPP), established in 1979 as an arm of the UC Davis police department.
“She was investigated as anyone would have been in the same situation,” Spicuzza said in an e-mail.
UC Davis had hailed Beeman as the right person to monitor sexual assault on campus.
“Beeman has been working with victims of violence against women for nearly 30 years and is a nationally recognized specialist on violence against women issues,” said a 2007 UC Davis statement. “She is a member of the advisory group to the California Medical Training Center as well as the national advisory board of the technical and training project for the Office on Violence Against Women’s grants for college campuses. She served on the California Campus Sexual Assault Task Force and was a member of the state advisory committee for sexual assault victim services and prevention programs for the Office of Criminal Justice Planning.”
Beeman also administered a violence prevention program across all University of California campuses.
“We are looking forward to building upon and sharing the expertise we have gained through our long and productive collaboration with the federal Office on Violence Against Women,” she said in a 2007 statement. “We want to work with other campuses to create a model intervention within the state of California.”
In that cause, the highly touted administrator proved creative with statistics. In 2001 the Sacramento Bee reported that one of Beeman’s grant applications said that every year as many as 700 UC Davis students were victims of rape or attempted rape. At the same times, says a December 10 Bee story, “the university’s reports to the federal government said assaults on campus were practically nonexistent.”
UC Davis eventually owned up to the exaggerations. Beeman “significantly over-reported the number of forcible sex offenses that were committed on and around campus in 2005, 2006 and 2007,” the university said in a press release. The true figures were “less than half” those Beeman reported. From 1999 to 2005, the CVPP received four federal grants totaling $3,168,923, according to a UC Davis audit.
UC Davis officials would not reveal whether the university had disciplined or censured Beeman over the falsified statistics. She remained in her job, which paid $6,118.13 a month, not including benefits. In 2008, UC Davis placed Beeman on administrative leave, with pay, “in connection with allegations that she improperly charged travel expenses to a federal grant.”
Beeman subsequently retired but new allegations continued to surface, leading to the ongoing investigation and arrest last week. Beeman awaits arraignment on Jan. 7.
Of course, even a conviction on any of the charges would not affect her ability to draw her University of California pension, according to UC Davis spokesman Andy Fell. He said in an e-mail that “the exact position held by Beeman was eliminated as a budget measure. The program is currently being overseen by Captain Joyce Souza of the UC Davis Police Department and administered by Marisa Messier.”
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This is Part 2 of a series on the EDD. Part 1, an interview with Spokesman Dan Stephens, is here.