Ex-law professor, son of former Twins owner Griffith, unzipped pants in public, charges say

ST. PAUL A former adjunct professor at William Mitchell College of Law has been charged with indecent exposure after a 24-year-old student accused him of unzipping his pants in front of her along a street in St. Paul. Clark Calvin Griffith, 70, o...


A former adjunct professor at William Mitchell College of Law has been charged with indecent exposure after a 24-year-old student accused him of unzipping his pants in front of her along a street in St. Paul.

Clark Calvin Griffith, 70, of Minneapolis, the son of former Minnesota Twins owner Calvin Griffith, was named in a criminal complaint Wednesday, March 21, in Ramsey County District Court.

The complaint said the incident occurred Jan. 24 when Griffith and the woman met at a bar-restaurant near the college to discuss a law clinic in which she planned to work with him.

Griffith allegedly urged the student to sit next to him and asked her about how porn affected dating in her generation. According to the complaint, he also placed her hand on his groin area.


After insisting that he walk the woman to her car, he placed her hand over his groin area again, unzipped his pants and exposed himself on Victoria Street, the complaint said. He then reportedly kissed her.

Griffith, an attorney specializing in sports law, called the allegations "ridiculous" and said there was "nothing to this."

"Anybody can charge anybody with anything, and I've done nothing wrong," he said.

St. Paul City Attorney Sara Grewing, whose office charged Griffith, said in a statement: "We wouldn't have pursued the case if we didn't believe we could prove it in court beyond a reasonable doubt."

Steve Linders, a spokesman for William Mitchell, said Griffith resigned Jan. 30, which was four days after the alleged incident.

The law school's dean, Eric Janus, sent a letter to students, faculty and staff Feb. 7 describing an incident with details fitting those in the complaint. According to the letter, the student notified the college and filed a police report.

"William Mitchell took action to support the student," the letter said. "In addition, we initiated our own fact-finding investigation and took steps to ensure the person accused had no contact with Mitchell students.

"After completing our fact-finding, we have terminated the attorney's relationship with the college due to a violation of our policies."


Citing personnel rules, Linders said he would not say whether the letter referred to the alleged incident involving Griffith.

The complaint, which Griffith said he had not yet seen, contains the following additional details:

After the incident next to the student's car, she drove away, crying and upset, she told police. She called two close male friends and told them what happened. They later corroborated her account of events to investigators and confirmed that the woman had shared information with them previously about inappropriate comments by Griffith.

Despite being told by the law school to have no contact with the student, Griffith "repeatedly attempted contact with (her) via voice messages, text messages, and direct messages on Twitter," the complaint said.

-- The day after the alleged exposure, Jan. 25, the student received a voice message from Griffith. He said, in part: "Any hint of anything here and I get shot. You don't want that, do you? That was amazing, by the way."

-- Jan. 26, after the student reported the alleged conduct to the school, Griffith sent a message via Twitter asking if it was she who complained.

She confirmed that it was. He replied, via text message: "I am very sorry. It is my fault. Instead of a complaint to the school, you need only tell me. Now I risk life, marriage, career and reputation and the hurt my daughters would suffer is too horrible to consider. I don't think you want to do that."

He said if she rescinded the complaint he promised to "be a gentleman" and "(do) what I can to help you....We'll get over this if we keep it contained."


-- During a phone conversation recorded by police, Griffith apologized repeatedly but said, "You kissed me." The woman denied that. He described being in an "absolute daze" when "I unzipped."

Griffith spent 18 years in the Twins' front office as treasurer and executive vice president under his father, Calvin Griffith, the former Washington Senators owner who relocated the club to Minnesota in 1961.

Before his father sold the Twins to local banker Carl Pohlad in 1984, Griffith worked for Major League Baseball for nine years as a labor consultant on the players relations committee and as chairman of MLB Properties, the clubs' marketing, licensing and broadcasting wing, according to his resume on the social media site LinkedIn.

His positions as vice chairman of the National Sports Law Institute at Marquette University and chairman of the Sports Law Division of the American Bar Association have made him a fixture on the lecture circuit.

Griffith also has hosted seminars and written about labor relations and antitrust laws in professional sports and has consulted with baseball general managers on arbitration and contract negotiations.

According to his bio, Griffith was director and chief financial officer of the nonprofit Women's Sports Foundation from 1998-2007. The group describes itself on its website as "dedicated to advancing the lives of girls and women through sports and physical activity."

Griffith was ordered to appear in court June 12. The indecent exposure charge is a misdemeanor.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

What To Read Next
Get Local