It was revealed on Wednesday that the State of Montana had settled out of court with former University of Montana quarterback Jordan Johnson for $245,000 claiming that the University assumed that Johnson was guilty before being proven innocent, and that certain officials attempted to hide evidence.

The private attorney representing the State of Montana, Dale Cockrell, spoke with KGVO News on Wednesday morning.

"The university certainly disagreed with the allegations that were being made by Mr, Johnson after hearing and reading media coverage about the story," Cockrell said. "We did know that there were going to be a number of issues that were going to be disputed, and facts that were going to be disputed, and that there were a number of legal questions that were unresolved. After looking at all the issues, we just believed it was in the best interests of everybody for us to attempt to resolve Mr. Johnson's claim, and we were able to do so."

Regarding any connection with the case involving author Jon Krakauer, who has sued the Montana University System over records from the Jordan Johnson case, Cockrell said, as far as he knew, they were not related.

Cockrell said the $245,000 judgement was paid by a special state fund set aside for paying legal costs.

"The State of Montana has a fund entitled the State of Montana Tort Defense Fund," Cockrell said. "That fund is used to resolve claims made against state employees or state agencies or any department of state government , the claims are paid through that fund. Most claims go through that fund, and I know this one certainly did."

Johnson was acquitted in 2013 of sexual intercourse without consent in a trial that  brought national attention to Missoula, the University of Montana and the ongoing topic of sexual assault on campuses across the country.

Johnson was represented by David Paoli and Kirsten Pabst, who ironically is now the Missoula County Attorney after winning election in 2014.


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