Archive for Saturday, August 18, 2001

Linking ex-director to theft premature, attorney, KU say

August 18, 2001


The attorney for the former director of Kansas University's Williams Educational Fund says people shouldn't rush to judgment about an embezzlement investigation being conducted by KU police.

Bill Skepnek, who is representing Scott McMichael, said he and McMichael haven't been told much about the investigation at the Kansas University Athletic Corp.

McMichael resigned Aug. 10, the same day a police report was filed with KU police alleging someone falsified entertainment expense reports. Skepnek said he was retained by McMichael after his resignation.

"The facts will always come out," Skepnek said. "I don't know what the scope of what they're talking about is, but we'll work to get to the bottom of this. We just don't know yet."

Skepnek and KU officials declined to say whether McMichael's resignation was linked to the investigation. Such a conclusion, Skepnek said, was "premature."

McMichael referred questions to Skepnek, but said: "I know the facts will come out."

Theresa Klinkenberg, KU's director of administration, said the investigation stemmed from a routine check of paperwork conducted by athletic department employees. Sharon Markham, director of business operations for Kansas University Athletic Corp., made the report to police.

The report indicates an unknown sum of money was taken from KUAC between Aug. 13, 1999, and Aug. 2 of this year.

Klinkenberg would not give other details about the investigation. Susan Wachter, chief financial officer for KUAC, declined to comment.

KU Public Safety Lt. Schuyler Bailey said the investigation would take "quite awhile," but he said there was no time frame for it to be completed. He said police are working with employees of KU's Internal Audit department.

"We have a lot of paperwork to go through, a lot of records to dig through," he said.

Bailey said police have a suspect but declined to say who it was.

Klinkenberg said KU's Internal Audit division conducts audits of each department at KU every three to five years. Corporations affiliated with the university such as KUAC, Student Union and Center for Research also undergo the audits. Sometimes outside companies also are hired to conduct audits.

But this investigation resulted from standard procedures conducted by employees, not a major audit, she said.

"The internal audit is part of our everyday operations," she said.

A former quarterback and three-year letterman (1974-76) for the Jayhawks, McMichael has been involved mainly with the 3,500-member Williams Fund that raised $5.2 million last year for KU athletics scholarships. He had worked for the department for 14 years.

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