Senator McLachlan Seeks Auditor Review of UConn
(September 17, 2018) State Senator Michael McLachlan today sent a letter to the state’s Auditors of Public Accounts asking the office to investigate the University of Connecticut. The request comes after the announcement that a professor and his administrative assistant violated travel and compensatory time policies that cost the university more than $100,000.
“This activity only was discovered because of a whistleblower complaint, not the university’s own systems of checks and balances,” Sen. McLachlan wrote. “Additionally, this lack of oversight is frighteningly similar to problems discovered earlier this year at the UConn Health Center.”
UConn announced last week that a professor who was also the head of the Operations and Information Management Department in the School of Business resigned after fraudulent activity and an inappropriate relationship with the administrative assistance was discovered. The professor took the assistant on trips to Dublin, Los Angeles, South Korea, and India on the university’s dime. They approved each other’s travel expense forms and the assistant was paid nearly $90,000 in unearned compensatory time.
Earlier this year, it was discovered that the UConn Medical Center continued to send regular payments to a professor who had not reported to work in about eight months and was discovered to have been dead much of that time. A later Auditor’s report disclosed improper payment of compensatory time for UConn Medical Center staff and poor record keeping, as well as other irregularities.
Sen. McLachlan wrote, “I am concerned that management and financial oversight problems are endemic to all of the facilities and organizations under the University of Connecticut Umbrella. How many other instances of inadequate record keeping and lax management practices have not been discovered?”
“I believe the Auditors of Public Accounts is the only office capable of shining a light on what truly happening to taxpayer dollars and student tuition at the University of Connecticut,” he wrote.
Sen. McLachlan represents the 24th State Senatorial District, which includes the communities of Bethel, Danbury, New Fairfield, and Sherman.