Liberty University said Monday it’s hired “one of the leading forensic firms in the world” to conduct an investigation of its operations under disgraced former president Jerry Falwell Jr.
The investigation will include “all facets” during the evangelical leader’s time as president, “including but not limited to financial, real estate, and legal matters,” the Christian evangelical university said in a statement.
Falwell Jr. acknowledged the affair in a statement, but said he was “not involved.”
It was the latest in a string of controversies surrounding him.
Earlier this month, the university announced Falwell Jr. was taking an indefinite leave of absence from his positions.
That was after Falwell Jr. came under fire for posting a picture on Instagram showing him with his pants unzipped and his midsection visible to the camera. In the photo, Falwell is seen holding a cup of dark liquid with one arm around a woman whose shorts are also unzipped.
In a radio interview with WLNI, Falwell explained that the woman was his wife’s assistant. They were at a costume party and “it was just in good fun,” he added.
In June, he deleted and apologized for a much-criticized tweet that showed one person in black face and another in a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe.
The university addressed Falwell’s behavior Monday.
“Some may say that all the signs were there for a long time before last week,” the university said. “It’s certainly fair to say that there were questionable comments made, worrying behavior, and inappropriate social media posts, but all the signs were not there until the start of last week.”
“While we still didn’t know the full scope of the matter, we have learned enough about the past to know that we had no choice but to take the leadership of Liberty University in a new direction.”
In addition to searching for a new president, Liberty University said it is “reviewing options to establish a new role in the top leadership of the University for someone who will serve as a spiritual coach, mentor, and guide to help ensure that every member of the University leadership fulfills his or her spiritual responsibility to live out the Christian walk expected of each and every one of us at Liberty.”
Falwell Jr. last week told CNN he will receive a $10.5 million compensation package from the university.