Former VCU deputy athletic director on leave at the University of Minnesota

Former VCU deputy athletic director on leave at the University of Minnesota

(WWBT) - Former VCU deputy athletic director Mike Ellis is on leave at the University of Minnesota pending an investigation into sexual harassment complaints.

Ellis' leave comes just weeks after Athletic Director Norwood Teague's resignation back in August.

The Star Tribune says Ellis "voluntarily" agreed to take leave from his job on Thursday as outside lawyers at the University of Minnesota were hired to investigate sexual harassment and discrimination issues.  Five anonymous complaints have been made since Teague resigned Aug. 7.  The University of Minnesota says that Ellis is cooperating in the investigation.

A prior complaint filed in January 2013 is tied an incident that featured "pornographic" images, according to The Star Tribune.  The article says Ellis allegedly had images of college-aged women on his cellphone and shared them with Teague and other staffers during a bowl game in 2012.

University of Minnesota spokesperson Evan Lapiska confirmed the complaint was closed without any disciplinary actions after investigation by the University of Minnesota's human resource department.  The school does not have to disclose additional information about the complaint, according to a Minnesota state law.

There was another complaint made in August 2015 saying a senior member of the University's athletic department and a member of the Gopher Radio Network team were "offended by the graphic images."  The report obtained by The Start Tribune also states the member was "shunned by the new senior administrators," including Teague and Ellis.  The Star Tribune says the staffer was fired due to "reorganization purposes."

Teague resigned in August after sending inappropriate texts while drunk.  He hired Ellis at VCU back in August 2012 as a senior associate athletic director.

Copyright 2015 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.