John Edwards cancels University appearance

By Daily Illini Staff Report

Former U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards has canceled his Oct. 14 scheduled appearance at the University, an Illini Union Board official said Thursday.

“I have decided to avoid any public engagements until after the election in November,” Edwards said in a press release on the IUB Web site. “Nothing is more important than electing Barack Obama and Joe Biden. I don’t want my appearance at these events to be a distraction from the important issues of the election, or from the important purpose of these meetings.”

Illini Union Director Ed Slazinik confirmed that Edwards has canceled all of his public appearances between now and the election.

The University was informed of the cancellation about an hour before the official announcement via Edwards’ scheduling agency, Slazinik said.

Edwards finalized his $65,000 contract with the University before the news of his extramarital affair broke in August.

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    That money had not yet been paid, Slazinik said, and Edwards’ contract contained a fairly “open-ended” cancellation clause.

    “We don’t get too fussy with that because of our practice of not paying up front,” Slazinik said.

    The University still has not received details on the cancellation outside of what was in Edwards’ official statement. Throughout the contract, the University has only been in contact with Edwards’ agency.

    After news broke of the affair, the University contacted the agency to give Edwards a chance to back out.

    “We made a courtesy call based on what you and I were reading in the media,” Slazinik said.

    Edwards chose not to opt out of the contract at that time.

    Keep checking for more updates.