Brian Cromer resigns from U of L board

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Louisville attorney Brian Cromer resigned from the U of L board of trustees on July 10, citing the university's lawsuit against his firm, Stites & Harbison, for its alleged abetting of financial mismanagement at the U of L Foundation under former university president James Ramsey.

The lawsuit, filed April 25, remains in its opening stages, and Cromer recused himself from countless closed-door discussions the board held in advance of filing the action, board chairman David Grissom said when the suit was filed.

But in a July 10 letter to Gov. Matt Bevin, Cromer cited the dispute and said he didn't want any question about the impartiality of the board.

"Although I could continue to serve on the Board and recuse myself from matters related to the University's lawsuit, for the good of the University, I am stepping aside," Cromer wrote in the letter, which he shared with WDRB.

The trustee board met regularly for nearly a year behind closed doors to discuss its legal options before filing the action in April. Cromer did not immediately reply to a follow-up message asking why the conflict didn't prompt his resignation earlier.

Stites & Harbison has asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit, saying it second-guesses legitimate business decisions by the previous foundation board long after the fact.

The U of L board now has two openings with Cromer’s resignation and that of John Schnatter, the pizza magnate who gave up his seat after admitting the use of racial language last week.

The board has 13 members, ten of whom are appointed by Gov. Matt Bevin.

Bevin will name replacements for Cromer and Schnatter.

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