Doubts on Portland State's Would-Be $100M Donor

August 24, 2015

Portland State University last week invited VIPs to what was expected to be an announcement of a $100 million gift from an anonymous donor. While the story was initially one of heartbreak over a gift that would have been huge for the university, questions are now being raised on whether the university properly vetted the would-be donor, The Oregonian reported. "John Michael Fitzpatrick, 51, turns out to be a tech promoter with hardly any obvious assets and a history of insolvency. A quick Internet check reveals two bankruptcies, in 2011 and 2012, a failed U.S. Senate primary bid and a bizarre controversy over an anti-child-pornography documentary he produced that contained explicit images," the newspaper reported. Fitzpatrick says he does have the money to donate, but some at the university are asking why the institution didn't investigate more before assuming it would receive such a large gift.

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