Section of at the least $138 million in agreements from Liberty because the business had been created, relating to publicly available income tax papers.
Senior Liberty officials might whisper concerning the propriety among these continuing company discounts, nevertheless they explained that Falwell’s choices on campus are seldom ever challenged because of the school’s board of trustees. “There’s no accountability, ” an old high-ranking college officer stated. “Jerry’s got pretty free reign to wheel and deal expertly and individually. The board will accept a yearly spending plan, hop over to here but beyond that … he does not go right to the board to have approval. … It just does not take place. ”
In the declaration, Falwell stated he and Moon “are on friendly terms and have interacted socially in previous years but neither of us would record one other on the range of friends and associates. Its entirely a normal arms-length business model. ”
But there is however proof towards the contrary—much from it reported in the Falwells’ very own social networking records.
In June 2013, by way of example, the season CMA had been created, Falwell shared an image on Instagram showing him, Becki and Trey joining Moon for a cruise along the James River on Moon’s personal watercraft. When expected in regards to the photographs, Falwell admitted to joining Moon on their ship “about five or six times. ” “These afternoon outings failed to cause us to reduce my settlement abilities or abandon my fiduciary duties to come right into discounts within the interest of this University, ” Falwell had written.
In this June 2013 Instagram post by Jerry Falwell Jr,. Falwell and their spouse Becki pose for an image with Robert Moon within a motorboat trip in the James River. | Instagram: jerryfalwelljr
In 2014, Falwell, Trey and Moon traveled to Miami together july. Falwell stated in his statement which he recalls “discussing University company” from the journey.
Through the journey, pictures had been taken of Jerry and Trey Falwell partying at a Miami nightclub—photos that numerous Liberty University officials stated Jerry Falwell tried to make disappear.
In this July 19, 2014, picture from Miami Beach’s WALL nightclub, Jerry Falwell Jr. (circled right here in red) is visible one of the clubgoers. | Seth Browarnik/WorldRedEye.com
ROLE II: The Fixer
On July 19, 2014, popular Swedish DJ John Dahlback performed at Wall, a nightclub in Miami Beach, Fla. That the club happened to have a photographer on-site to grab candid shots of the revelry night. The pictures were provided online by World Red Eye, a socket that documents Miami’s nightlife scene, and Jerry and Trey Falwell had been noticeable in a few associated with the pictures—the socket identified Trey by title.
In a statement on 21, Jerry Falwell denied the existence of any photo of him at the club august. “There had been no image snapped of me personally at WALL nightclub or just about any other nightclub, ” Falwell published. “I’m sure you already knew that though. ”
Whenever told for this short article, Falwell stated I happened to be “terribly mistaken. That I experienced acquired an image of him” “If you reveal me personally the image, i will probably assist you, ” he penned. “I think you’re making some wrong presumptions, or were told false things or are seeing something which had been photo–shopped. ”
Him the photo, as well as a photo of Trey at Wall, Falwell responded: “I never asked anyone to get rid of any pictures on the internet of me and I never have seen the picture you claim is of me below after I sent. In the event that individual within the photo is me personally, it had been most likely photo-shopped. ” In an additional e-mail delivered 23 moments later on, Falwell wrote: “But the larger question, Brandon, is excatly why would i’d like a photo that way removed it? If I’d seen”
Kept: A zoomed-in close-up of Jerry Falwell Jr. Within the audience at WALL nightclub in Miami Beach, obtained from the picture from the beginning with this part. Appropriate: additionally in the club that evening had been Trey Falwell and their spouse, Sarah. | Seth Browarnik/WorldRedEye.com
Relating to a few people who have direct understanding of the problem, Falwell—the president of a conservative Christian college that frowns upon co-ed dancing (Liberty pupils can get demerits if seen carrying it out) and forbids liquor usage (which is why pupils may be expelled)—was mad that pictures of him clubbing managed to get up online. To treat the specific situation, numerous Liberty staffers stated Falwell went along to John Gauger, who they characterized as his “IT guy, ” and asked him to downgrade the photos’ prominence on Bing queries. Gauger didn’t react to needs for remark.
Gauger spent some time working at Liberty since making their MBA through the educational college in ’09. In 2016, he had been promoted to be the school’s chief information officer about a 12 months. 5 after he had been called deputy cio. To university that is several, their fast rise to your C-suite had been shocking.
“I’m maybe maybe maybe not being disrespectful, but John had been a no body, ” one Liberty official that is longtime stated. “And the thing that is next understand, he’s high up in IT. ”
Longtime Liberty officials describe Gauger as a kind of fixer for Falwell, a person promoted without complaint because he would do what Falwell asked of him. But Gauger is much more than simply a college worker: Since 2009, Gauger has additionally run RedFinch LLC, a business that is online founded that focuses on search-engine marketing and does lucrative contract work with Liberty. Tax records show Liberty paid RedFinch $123,950 during 2016, for just what sources referred to as search-engine recruitment of online pupils for the college. Gauger would not react to demands for remark.
RedFinch’s work that is online the college goes beyond typical SEO marketing. In a message from August 2013 obtained with this article, Falwell asked Gauger to guard him within the commentary portion of a neighborhood news article that Falwell felt mirrored too adversely on him. Falwell also emailed Gauger the precise wording to upload.
“I’m having my RedFinch guys blow this up straight away, ” Gauger responded. “I’ll let you know just just how it goes. ”
Whenever Falwell told Gauger a various employee already chimed in to the discussion, Gauger insisted that he’d “have a couple of reports turn the discussion somewhere else simply for good measure. ”
Relating to several longtime Liberty employees, it is acutely unusual for college workers to be permitted to very own side businesses that do agreement work with the college. “I’ve always possessed a problem with RedFinch because there never had been any clear and distinct lines, ” one former Liberty employee told me. “You can’t work on Liberty 8-5 in the clock and acquire compensated from some other person for similar hours. ”
Numerous college officials said Gauger is very near, both physically and expertly, with all the Falwells, particularly Trey. At Liberty, Gauger states to Trey, and Trey responses simply to their dad.
In January, the Wall Street Journal reported that in 2014 and 2015, Michael Cohen hired Gauger’s part company, RedFinch LLC, to rig polls that are online Donald Trump’s favor while he considered a run for the presidency. Gauger’s work contained composing a pc script to over repeatedly vote for Trump in 2 polls that are online their business would receives a commission $50,000 in exchange. Rather, Gauger told the Journal that after a gathering at Trump Tower in Manhattan, Cohen paid Gauger roughly one-fourth of this amount—between $12,000 and $13,000 in cash—and offered him a boxing glove used by a blended fighting styles fighter.