Fayetteville Finger Pointing
A lot of finger pointing but little progress regarding million dollar deficits in one University of Arkansas division.
Much of the testimony offered to legislators today has been heard before...but the rhetoric was raised a bit.
It wasn't necessarily exciting...but it does make for great theater when the two men taking jabs at one another are seated right beside each other.
In one chair, former Vice Chancellor of Advancement at the University of Arkansas...Brad Choate.
Under his watch, Choate's division ran a deficit that topped four million dollars.
"We were given bad numbers as the result of poor financial staffing at the top of the organization and the University's own highly questionable accounting practices," Choate told lawmakers. "Folks, I didn't wake up stupid or lazy one day after 32 years."
Blaming Choate for going so deep in the red...and sitting right next to him...University of Arkansas Chancellor David Gearhart.
"The facts in this case have been confirmed by external auditors, they have been confirmed by the prosecuting attorney, they have been confirmed by the FBI, and they also determined that absolutely no theft, no fraud, or no misappropriation of funds occurred," Gearhart testified.
What did occur is expanding payroll without having the funding in place to pay for all the new people.
How or why it occurred is what lawmakers are trying to learn...in hopes to prevent it from happening again.
"Ladies and gentlemen...something is rotten in Fayetteville," said Choate.
That of course is Choate's opinion.
In Gearhart's opinion mistakes were made, no wrongdoing was found and changes are being implemented to make sure this doesn't happen again.
Air date: January 7th, 2014