Craig Carter

Craig Carter, right, a former University of Arizona track and field coach, arrives at the Pima County Superior Court with attorney Dan Cooper on Wednesday.

The state is still paying for the civil defense of an ex-UA track coach found guilty of choking a student athlete while threatening her with a box cutter.

The Arizona Department of Administration confirmed Monday that “there has been no change in the Craig Carter defense,” said spokeswoman Megan Rose.

Rose was unable to comment further, citing pending litigation.

Carter, a former assistant track and field coach, was convicted March 30 of two counts of aggravated assault, in connection with the April 2015 incident involving former University of Arizona thrower Baillie Gibson.

In November 2015, Gibson filed a lawsuit against Carter and the UA. Arizona law requires the government to pay for the defense of an employee being sued for behavior that occurred while acting within the scope of his or her job, however the state reserved the right in the Carter case to stop paying his legal fees if he was found to have acted outside the scope of his employment.

While Carter was convicted on two criminal charges, there are still several charges pending against him, including stalking, disrupting an educational institution and violation of a protective order. It’s unclear if the remaining charges have anything to do with the state’s ongoing payment of his attorney fees in the civil suit.

The Star reported Sunday that ADOA officials had not responded to multiple queries regarding Carter and fired football coach Rich Rodriguez, who was recently added to a federal Title IX lawsuit involving former player Orlando Bradford.

Whether or not the state will be paying Rodriguez’s defense is still under review, Rose said Monday.

As of March 21, the state has paid $885,717 to Carter’s attorney, John Munger. That figure only includes legal work done through Feb. 22. The most recent figures were not immediately available.

Since its filing, there have been more than 570 entries made in the case, including motions, hearings, disclosure materials and memos.

In November, the UA opted to switch attorneys from the Arizona Attorney General’s Office to a private Tucson firm. As of Feb. 22, attorneys with Rusing, Lopez and Lizardi had billed the state $152,134.

The Star reached out to Gov. Doug Ducey’s office for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.

Contact reporter Caitlin Schmidt at or 573-4191. Twitter: @caitlincschmidt

I'm a government watchdog reporter, covering public safety policy and family issues.