LOS ANGELES (LALATE) – Jessica Dorrell’s Arkansas hiring impacted the Bobby Petrino investigation, new documents reveal. When former Arkansas volleyball player Jessica Dorrell (photos below) was hired by Petrino for a $55,735 annual job, and then given an additional twenty-thousand dollar check personally by Petrino, officials had enough. The Bobby Petrino wreck investigation took a new turn today, April 13, 2012, after Jessica Dorrell hiring documents were released to news.
On Thursday, details of Jessica Dorrell’s text messages and pictures with Bobby Petrino were released to news. Jessica Dorrell’s trail of communications were revealed in phone logs. The logs came from Petrino’s official Arkansas provided cellphone. And the communications between Petrino and Dorrell dated back to September of last year.
But late last night, text messages sent by Petrino to Arkansas officials about the Jessica Dorrell sandal were subsequently filtered to news. Many of these logs, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, show the actual text messages sent by Petrino in the last days before his firing.
Additionally, today, Jessica Dorrell’s hiring documents were obtained by national news. Jessica Dorrell was competing against one hundred sixty applicants for the position of student-athlete development coordinator. On Monday, officials told news that Dorrell’s hiring process was suspiciously short. Moreover, they claimed that, when she applied for the job in March, she was already fully involved in a relationship with Petrino that begun in September the previous year.
Jessica Dorrell’s Arkansas interview was on March 12. Her background check was the following day. Petrino actively took the initiative to get Dorrell hired, the documents reveal to news. Dorrell came as a former Razorback Foundation assistant director for women’s athletics. Petrino at no time disclosed that Dorrell was at that point his alleged mistress. But he urged the university to hire her, stating of his alleged mistress that Dorrell “would be the best fit for the position.”
Petrino further solidified Dorrell’s hiring by claiming that other applicants were less qualified. He said the other two candidates did not have “as much experience as other candidates for this particular position.”
Dorrell passed her background check on March 20. She was offered the job that day and began work on March 23, the documents indicate to news. On March 28, Dorrell’s hiring was announced to news in a glowing press statement by Petrino. On April 1, the two crashed on his bike shortly after 6:30 pm on an Arkansans highway.
Petrino, at some time after the hiring but before the wreck, gave Dorrell twenty-thousand dollars. He claims it was a gift. But officials were irate during their investigation that Petrino didn’t disclose this payment either, calling it part of his “inappropriate relationship” with Dorrell and his conflict of interest.
After the Bobby Petrino wreck of April 1, officials began to then learn of these suspect hiring moves by Petrino. On April 4, he was put on administrative leave.
Today, new text massages from Petrino’s cellphone to Arkansas officials were released to news. These texts are between April 4 and his firing on April 11. Many of the messages were between Petrino and athletic director Jeff Long.
On April 6, officials asked Petrino again if he had told them everything about the wreck. Petrino wrote “Yes I believe he does. Is the mood to fire me or to keep me”. Assistant athletic director Chris Wyrick told Petrino that the university was likely to treat the scandal as a “mulligan”. “You have done the job and most feel like you are due a mulligan.”
Petrino continued to plead his case to Long. He wrote “I just want you to know (sic) how sorry I am that this all happened!!” Long became more urgent by the end of the week as the Petrino police report was being issued. “Bobby, we need to talk sooner. I’ll call you when I get back to town.”
To date, Long has yet to tell news if Dorrell will keep her job. Dorrell has yet to comment about the matter, not appear in public, since the scandal erupted that Thursday. Becky Petrino, Bobby Petrino’s wife, has also remained quiet. Petrino this week, in being fired for cause, was denied a $3 million annual salary and a $18 million buyout provision. The father of four, before the scandal erupted, was already trying to sell his mansion for $2.5 million. The home has been listed on the market for nearly two years.
Bobby Petrino, Jessica Dorrell