Now to the prosecutor | Arkansas Blog

Friday, May 8, 2009

Now to the prosecutor

Posted By on Fri, May 8, 2009 at 2:25 PM

This is an updated post from earlier.  I spoke with Sen. Gilbert Baker after the Legislative Joint Auditing Committee accepted the audit report on the University of Central Arkansas.  Baker is an alternate member of that committee and was present at the hearing.  He said the auditing staff went over several issues contained in the audit (the conversion of public funds to private funds to pay UCA's head football coach, former president Lu Hardin's bonuses and a line of credit taken out by the university).  UCA interim president Tom Courtway then discussed those issues and told the auditors and the committee what steps had been taken to correct prior misdeeds and what policy changes had been made, or were on the horizon.  Andrew Demillo has a full report on the hearing.  

Courtway has a ton of good will built up with legislators.  Baker said there is a lot of respect at the capitol for interim president.  It's not clear yet whether that good sentiment will be enough to guide the school through any criminal charges that may be brought by the 20th Judicial District prosecuting attorney.  The audit staff does not have the power to prosecute.  After an audit is officially received by the auditing committee, the next step is to turn that audit over to the local prosecuting attorney for review.  The PA will then decide what charges, if any, to bring against UCA. 

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