Crimetracker: UT Foundation fires Downsbrough after child porn charges

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The University of Tennessee Foundation fired Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer Bruce Downsbrough on Thursday. The non-profit organization released a statement along with his termination letter, which listed his final day as May 31, 2013.

The Foundation said it tapped Lisa Taylor to serve as the acting COO with the help of a senior team assembled to support her. They will now try to determine how they will fill his position moving forward.

Full statement from UT Foundation:

After consulting with outside counsel, the University of Tennessee Foundation has terminated Bruce Downsbrough’s employment with UTFI effective immediately. We will quickly begin the process of determining how his role will be filled long-term. In the interim, Lisa Taylor has assumed the role of acting Chief Operating Officer, and we have assembled a senior team to support her

Bruce Downsbrough was the executive vice president and chief operating officer of the University of Tennessee Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that raises money for UT. The UT Foundation is separate from the university.

A federal grand jury found enough evidence to arrest Downsbrough on child pornography charges. In this latest arrest, Downsbrough is charged with three counts of receiving child porn, and one count of possessing child porn. Police confiscated a laptop, two external hard drives and 19 DVDs containing pornographic material.

U.S. Attorney Bill Killian says each count of receiving child porn comes with a jail sentence of 5 to 20 years, and possession carries up to 10 years. Downsbrough is looking at more than 15 years behind bars, if not more.


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