State Releases Findings Of Investigation Into Halifax College's President
Posted October 25, 2005 4:54 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina Office of the State Auditor released a
Tuesday detailing its findings of a three-month investigation into allegations involving the embattled president of a Halifax County college.
In its audit, the state auditor's office revealed six issues of wrongdoing by Halifax Community College's president, Ted Gasper, or the community college's board of trustees.
Auditors found that the Halifax Community College Board of Trustees approved a new employment contract for Gasper without advance notice of significant contract amendments, including one that changed the contract to a rolling four-year agreement.
Gasper's attorney, Gilbert Chichester, of Roanoke Rapids, is responding to the state's report. He told WRAL that his client's contract was negotiated through the college's attorney and was approved by the board.
The audit also said that Gasper also received approximately $15,806 in questionable travel reimbursements and insurance-related fringe benefit payments and automotive services for his personal vehicle, but Chichester claimed the benefits were part of Gasper's contract and that he had a right to the money.
The automotives instructor at Halifax estimated that he performed about 50 hours of work on Gaspers' vehicle during his workday on campus over the past five years. While the community college allows work on personal cars of students and members of the board of trustees, it does not allow work on the president's vehicle.
According to the report, Gasper also leased college property without authorization from the State Board of Community Colleges, which Chichester said was not a violation of state policy. In addition, auditors found that the president's executive secretary deleted files from her computer after the college was notified of the state audit, but Gasper's attorney disputed that any records were destroyed.
In a written response to the audit, the acting chairman of the Halifax Community College Board of Trustees, Dr. Stanley Ed, expressed deep concern over the findings and assured the state that the auditors' recommendations would be carried out.
The Office of the State Auditor's review is just one of three investigations into complaints against Gasper. In another directive from the state, the Halifax Community College Board of Trustees has to also review complaints. The State Bureau of Investigation is also looking into the case.
Gasper has been placed on paid administrative leave until all of the investigations are complete. The college's board of trustees, however, voted Tuesday not to renew his contract.