Education

Orange DA calls for outside review of UNC fundraiser's expenses

Posted November 21, 2012

— Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall said Wednesday he would like an outside, independent agency to investigate questionable expenses by a former fundraiser at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Matt Kupec resigned in September as vice chancellor for advancement amid an internal review of his travel. He also reimbursed the school for more than $16,000 in personal expenses found during an audit of his travel and spending.

UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp said at the time that some of Kupec's fundraising trips appeared "personally driven" and noted that Tami Hansbrough, the mother of former UNC All-America basketball player Tyler Hansbrough, accompanied him on many of the trips.

Tami Hansbrough resigned as a major gifts officer at UNC two days after Kupec stepped down. She released a statement on Oct. 23 saying she “did nothing wrong.” Sources have told WRAL News that the pair are dating.

“I really wish they would let an outside more independent agency look at these issues,” Woodall said. “I hope they will, and we're going to give them time to do that.”

Burley Mitchell, a former North Carolina Supreme Court chief justice and member of the UNC System Board of Governors, says he backs Woodall.

“It should be obvious, if we're going to get this behind us, that the public must have confidence that everything will come out and it's looked at by people who are not part of UNC-Chapel Hill,” Mitchell said.

An internal audit confirmed that Kupec took unauthorized personal trips as a university foundation fundraiser. He resigned, apologized and paid the money back, but Woodall wants more detail on whether state property and money were misused.

Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall Orange DA wants outside review of UNC fundraiser's expenses

In a statement, UNC spokeswoman Karen Moon said, “No state funds were used to pay for Kupec's unallowable expenses. The AHEC aircraft discussed in the audit are not state property, but are owned by Medical Air, Inc., a not-for-profit organization and the funds that paid for the flights were from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Foundation, Inc. The boards of these organizations are aware of the audit report."

Still, Woodall has questions. “There needs to be transparency,” he said.

If UNC does not call for an outside investigation, Woodall, the State Bureau of Investigation or state auditor could do it.

7 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • dick4sanchez Nov 29, 8:11 a.m.

    The integrity and quality of education and perception are taking a bit hit lately at the peoples republik of UNC-CH, or UNC-Berkley East.

  • superman Nov 23, 10:06 a.m.

    It doesnt make any difference whose money he stole. He was a paid state employee. Every person unless they own the company should have their travel reviewed before it is approved for payment. Mr. Thorp just aint doing nothing right. Things just continue to happen on his watch every week.

  • Observing Sassie and Laughing Nov 21, 7:44 p.m.

    ugottabkiddinme:

    Oh, please stop the crying. I have family and friends who are UNC grads and they're sickened by this never-ending "crrrap",as you've called it.

    Anyone who cares about the integrity of the university wants this to end. And stop with the comments about investigating other schools. It's not about them.....

  • ncsu85 Nov 21, 7:25 p.m.

    Is there one adult over at the flagship that can be accountable?? These " everybody does it" comments are so common..... in 3rd grade.

  • SingleLensReflex.SLR Nov 21, 7:23 p.m.

    Is UNC under a black spell ? how many investigations does it take to start thinking "curse" ?

  • ConservativeVoter Nov 21, 6:58 p.m.

    If they had happened in the private sector, he would have been fired, charged with a crime, and taken to court.

    Must be nice being one of the good ol' Democrats in North Carolina.

  • ugottabkiddinme Nov 21, 6:03 p.m.

    Come on, this crrrap goes on everywhere, please!...How about investigate all Schools, i am sure you'll find plenty