Heidi Hurd, ex-dean of University of Illinois Law School, says she's a victim of the scandal

I just know someday ... when we are kicking around in heaven, we will be able to drink and laugh about this the whole time.”

— Heidi Hurd, ex-dean of U of I law school, on voicemail to U of I Chancellor Richard Herman

A former University of Illinois law school dean has made a final effort to distance herself from an admissions scandal, writing a lengthy letter to the state panel charged with investigating the practices.

Heidi Hurd -- who testified before the Illinois Admission Review Commission nearly a month ago -- sent a 15-page letter late last week in which she describes herself as a "victim" of the school's clout lists, not a "perpetrator," and details her efforts to push back against them.

She also supports her earlier assertions that Chancellor Richard Herman and public officials abused their power when they forced her to admit subpar students.

Commissioners will weigh the letter against a voice mail message Hurd left on Herman's home phone shortly after she testified. University attorneys turned over the message to the commission, officials said.