The secret end of the Todd Hoffner affair

Todd Hoffner, the football coach at University of Mankato Minnesota is out of a job, the Star Tribune reports today.

Not surprisingly, there isn’t a prayer that you’re ever going to find out why. This paragraph is becoming journalistic boilerplate in stories involving schools in Minnesota.

Benson, citing privacy laws, declined to elaborate on the reasons Hoffner was no longer employed by the school, saying only that it was a private, personnel matter.

He also declined to say whether Hoffner was dismissed or resigned. He said the former coach was removed from the payroll Tuesday.

Hoffner, you may recall, was charged with possessing child pornography because he took pictures of his children after a shower, according to an MPR story at the time:

Hoffner testified, “The children came down into the living room with towels on and asked me to videotape them.”

He said the children, all under the age of 9 years, were “singing, dancing, and laughing” in the videos. He said he didn’t think there was anything inappropriate with recording them, and he didn’t view the videos again. Hoffner made the videos using his university-issued cell phone on June 26, 2012.

“There’s nothing inappropriate in any of those videos,” Hoffner said.

And, it turned out, there wasn’t.

The judge tossed out the charges.

“It is private, family speech of a most uniquely personal kind which the state can neither inhibit nor sanction,” Judge Krista Jass said.

But, stained with “child pornography” charges, Hoffner lost his football coaching job anyway. He was “reassigned,” and few people thought Hoffner would be at the university much longer.

He’d already been suspended for apparently using the university-issued cellphone to take the pictures.

A school spokesman told the Mankato Free Press that two investigations were conducted by the school authorities against Hoffman. What kind of investigations? Can’t say. What did the investigations conclude? Can’t say.

Hoffner asked the judge in the case to seal all the files so none of this will ever see the light of day. She did that on Friday, the Free Press reported