ASU to provide legal counsel for University administration quest -, GA News Weather & Sports

ASU to provide legal counsel for University administration questioned in audit


Alabama State's Board of Trustees gave the interim president of the university the authority, Friday, to provide legal counsel to members of the university's administration who are questioned during the forensic audit of the institution's financial dealings.

The board, along with ex-oficio member Gov. Robert Bentley commissioned a pair of financial examinations of Alabama State University during a December board meeting. The audits came about after former President Joseph Silver raised allegations of wrong-doing last November. He described some financial relationships as "troubling at best and conflicts of interest at least."

The Chairman of the ASU Board of Trustees, Elton Dean, has denied that the university has participated in any sorts of dealings.

During Friday's board meeting, members met for approximately 40 minutes before entering into an executive session to discuss what the university's attorney described as a "legal matter."

When the board returned after 20 minutes, President William Harris said, "I recommend that the board grant authorities and responsibilities to the president to appoint counsel for university officials in their personal, official positions regarding the agreed upon procedures of the forensic audit and certain other investigations."

Harris denied any other investigations taking place outside of the audits. He described the decision to provide legal counsel as a "preliminary measure" and insisted, "The main things are just those two operations out there, nothing else."

Harris continued and said, "I mean, nobody else, nobody has been indicted or anything like that, no. That's not what we're talking about."

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