FBI investigating bursar’s office
The college bursar, Brandi Henson, resigned her position on Sept. 30, said Cordell Jordan, media relations coordinator.
Jordan also confirmed that a federal investigation into the OCCC Bursar’s Office has been in progress since the beginning of the semester.
He could not say if the two events are related.
Henson was placed on administrative leave early in this semester.
Jordan said he could not comment on the reason for Henson’s leave of absence, as it is against college policy to discuss personnel.
On Aug. 20, the FBI began looking into suspicious charges made with the Bursar’s Office credit card, after college authorities alerted them, Jordan said.
The investigation had been kept quiet up until now to avoid misinformation, said President Paul Sechrist.
“The nature of the investigation required the college to be cautious and not offer speculation early on during an ongoing investigation,” Sechrist said.
“It would have been reckless to offer partial or unconfirmed information before the conclusion of the financial audit,” he said.
The financial audit, conducted by Hinkle & Co., came back clean. Sechrist said that he wanted to be clear, however, that a clean audit does not mean there was no wrongdoing.
“A clean audit simply means that the paper work we have, and the documentation we have of the financial holdings and transactions made by the college is an accurate view of the college’s actual financial state.”
Hinkle’s audit, which was presented to the Board of Regents on Nov. 21, did include suggestions for improving internal controls.
According to the audit report, the college did not have a procedure for balancing the Bursar’s Office credit card on a monthly basis, nor were balance reports reviewed by anyone outside the bursar’s office.
The audit report recommends implementing policies on both counts.
Sechrist said no student accounts or funds were involved in the transactions the FBI is investigating.
The college is doing everything possible to aid the FBI’s investigation, he said.
“We provided the FBI access to our credit card transactions related to the Bursar’s Office. It is my understanding that the FBI also interviewed staff in the Bursar’s Office,” Sechrist said.
“I am confident that the College took all of the steps necessary to inform all of the appropriate individuals and agencies as soon as we confirmed the unauthorized transactions.”
When asked for information regarding the investigation, Cynthia Gary, acting bursar, directed all questions to Jordan’s office.
The college Bursar’s Office acts as a treasury, or business office, and the bursar manages many of the financial transactions of the college.
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