Exclusive: Hearing Officer Chosen For Winston Case

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A man who's no stranger to the national spotlight has been chosen as the hearing officer for Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston's student discipline hearing.

Major Harding, 79, confirms he's been chosen to oversee a student conduct hearing, but says no student's name has been provided to him.

Attorneys in the case confirm Winston is facing a student discipline hearing after a young woman accused the quarterback of raping her in December, 2012.

After a criminal investigation by the Tallahassee Police Department, State Attorney Willie Meggs determined there wasn't enough evidence to prosecute the case.

Florida State University is currently facing a Title IX federal investigation regarding sexual assault on campus.

The university's administrators, by law, can't discuss student disciplinary hearings.

However they did release a previous statement saying they were choosing an outside hearing officer to prevent any perception of favoritism without mentioning which student's case the officer would work.

Harding served as chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court from 1998 until 2000.

Most notably, he served on the court during the Bush versus Gore case when Florida's electoral votes for President of the United States were undecided and the election hung in the balance.

He was originally appointed to the Florida Supreme Court by Governor Lawton Chiles in 1991 and served on the state's highest court until 2002.

Harding received his undergraduate and graduate law degrees from Wake Forest University.

He also has a master of laws in judicial process from the University of Virginia.

Harding says he's currently in contract negotiations with FSU to determine how much he'll be paid to be the hearing officer.

He says no hearing date has been set yet.




 
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