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
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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