July 13, 2017

Attorney general launches investigation into U of L

Grawemeyer Hall U of L

By Kyeland Jackson —

U of L will now be investigated by Attorney General Andy Beshear’s criminal investigations department.

Department of Criminal Investigations Commissioner John Moberly announced the probe in a June 30 letter, saying his office reviewed June 8’s Alvarez & Marsal audit. That audit alleged former U of L President James Ramsey and his administration made questionable financial, governance and transparency decisions.

Moberly’s letter said A&M’s report shows there are “needs to be addressed,” and asked U of L and its foundation, which manages U of L’s $800 million endowment, provide materials to investigators.

Investigators asked U of L give documents and legal justification about a $38 million loan U of L gave to the University of Louisville Real Estate Foundation, and about pay and compensation for Ramsey, his former aide Kathleen Smith and ULF Chief Financial Officer Jason Tomlinson’s.

The letter also asks for emails between Ramsey, Smith and Tomlinson between June 1, 2016 and Sept. 30, 2016, and Ramsey’s hard drive. According to A&M’s June 8 report, that hard drive was re-purposed, wiping information A&M planned to review in its investigation.

“Access to this hard drive is necessary for a complete review of all matters related to the ULF matter,” Mobley’s letter said. He asked U of L and ULF retain emails and related materials in case investigators want them, and asked to meet representatives from A&M to discuss and share findings from their audit.

U of L Interim President Greg Postel said the university is cooperating with the attorney general’s office, but would remain focused on its mission.

“It is important to our students, faculty, staff, supporters and community to determine if any wrongdoing took place and to hold accountable any individuals who are found to have been involved,” Postel’s statement said. “Our focus, though, is and will remain providing an outstanding education to our students, conducting leading-edge research, improving our community through service and continuing to build one of America’s finest metropolitan research universities.”

The news comes a day after Postel reassured the university’s progress to re-affirm its accreditation in the face of two new potential accreditation violations.

Beshear first announced he may investigate the university June 13, days after A&M’s audit rocked the school. Since, Ramsey’s former aide was fired, his former chief financial officer is on an indefinite paid leave and both the university board and the foundation have contemplated legal action against Ramsey’s administration.

U of L Board Chair Grissom said legal decisions from U of L’s board could be decided within weeks.

Read Mobley’s full letter here.

File photo / The Louisville Cardinal

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