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Apr 11, 2014 08:53 AM EDT

Minnesota State Was Wrong In Firing Ted Hoffner, Arbitrator Says


Todd Hoffner, a former head football coach at Minnesota State University, won arbitrator's ruling in connection to his termination in 2012. The arbitrator said that the University was wrong in firing the 47-year-old coach and that they should immediately reinstate him with pay.

"As a general matter we can say that employers are obligated to abide by arbitration awards, whether or not they agree with their terms," MSU spokesman Dan Benson said, Star Tribune reports.

Hoffner was arrested and charged with two counts of child pornography after university authorities discovered photos of his naked children on an official mobile. About three months after his arrest, a judge ruled Hoffner not guilty by saying that the videos on his phone were innocent images of children, Miami Herald reports.

Despite dismissal of child pornography charges, Hoffner was suspended for 20 days and then reassigned to an administrative role.

He was fired May 2013 for undisclosed reasons by the university President Richard Davenport. In a letter, Davenport said that Hoffner viewed pornography on his work computer and brought his young children into men's locker room when staff members were naked or partially undressed.

Arbitrator Gerald Wallin said that Hoffner denied using his computer to view porn. Plus, there was no evidence to students and Hoffner's wife accessing the computer, making his termination baseless. Wallin also that Hoffner bringing his children to the locker room did not become an issue until his pornography charges surfaced.

Attorney Jim Fleming said that the ruling orders Minnesota State to pay Hoffner for his 20-day suspension. Plus, if Hoffner does not wish to return to campus, the university must pay the salary difference.

"Essentially, he gets the full benefit of his contract he had at MSU," Fleming said. "It has been a terrible almost two years, by anyone's standpoint.

Hoffner was both shocked and grateful with the verdict.

Hoffner spent four seasons with Mavericks from 2008-2012. He posted an overall 34-13 record and led the team to three Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference South Division championships in 2008, 2009 and 2011. Hoffner was recently named head coach at Minot State in North Dakota.

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