BOG Talks “Alleged Criminal Misconduct,” But Mum On Kupec

Link here.

CHAPEL HILL – On Thursday, members of the UNC Board of Governors’ audit committee discussed confidential information—but they’re keeping quiet about whether the conversation dealt with the Matt Kupec scandal.

Around 9:30 Thursday morning, audit committee members went into closed session. Just before shutting their doors to the public, they announced that they’d be discussing what they called “alleged criminal misconduct” during the closed session portion of the meeting. UNC System Vice President for Communications Joni Worthington says she’s not at liberty to discuss any conversation that takes place during closed session meetings—including whether Matt Kupec’s resignation was part of the agenda.

Fortunately, tomorrow is Friday and this will all be over.


Also appearing today on the University of North Carolina School of Government Blog on Criminal Law is perhaps an interestingly relevant post by Jeff Welty, a well respected legal analyst for the NCSOG. For perspective, this blog is often referred to by lawyers, judges and law enforcement to help answer questions surrounding the ever-evolving world of criminal jurisprudence in North Carolina. After each legislative session and each session of our high courts, there are law changes that require being hashed out and interpreted. In short, Welty and the NCSOG are well-respected NC legal analysts.

Today’s Blog entry is titled: Link.

You should take a moment to read the entire entry, but here’s a primer to get you thirsty for more:

A couple of recent news stories led me to think about the possibility of a particular type of class disparity in the criminal justice system. Here are the two stories:

– Two big-time UNC fundraisers have resigned. The two were dating. They went on several trips together, at university expense, to locations where one of the fundraisers’ sons was playing college basketball for Notre Dame. Chancellor Holden Thorp has described the trips as “personally driven,” suggesting that they were not legitimate fundraising endeavors.

– According to auditors, an official with the Department of Public Instruction “claimed more than $3,200 in unjustified travel reimbursements by padding his mileage reports.” The department apparently “plan to seek refunds and impose disciplinary action.”

Both stories involve allegations of financial misconduct by state officials who are relatively high on the food chain. I have seen no suggestion, in reports on either matter, that criminal investigations are underway or that criminal prosecution is a possibility.

Let me emphasize that I don’t know any more about these stories than I’ve read in the news. I don’t know whether a criminal investigation, much less a criminal prosecution, is appropriate in either case. It’s also possible that a criminal investigation is underway in either or both instances and that it just hasn’t been reported.

Having said that, we do have laws against embezzlement and obtaining property by false pretenses. And I wonder whether a UNC bookstore worker who was suspected of fleecing the university out of thousands of dollars, or a school lunchroom worker who apparently misappropriated $3,200, would be allowed to resign or be disciplined without facing a criminal investigation. To generalize away from these specific cases, I’m asking whether financial misconduct committed by people in white-collar jobs is treated differently than misconduct of a similar magnitude committed by people in less prominent positions.

That piece, while fantastic in raising questions many are asking, is not nearly as pointed as the first comment thereunder. Isn’t that the way UNC has attempted to govern the entire flow of information through the scandal? Don’t speak your mind if you have concerns about the University’s approach to handling obvious misdeeds, or else fear repercussions on your next tenure review. Is it any wonder that to date only one strong-willed, ethical giant of a man, Professor Smith, has had the gumption to publicly reprimand his own institution for failing to see that their walls are crumbling down around them?

Also today Andrew Payne, a former member of the North Carolina Board of Governors and an author for prominent NC political blog HONESTNC.COM fired off an entry devoted to Link:

There’s a new scandal brewing at UNC Chapel Hill. As a part of their investigative reporting, the News and Observer has requested internal documents from the university’s dental foundation. The university has claimed the documents are not public records because the foundation is a “separate” not for profit organization.

The News and Observer responded with a harsh editorial, UNC made some bad calls:

One factor that brought all this to The N&O’s attention was an audit of the foundation helping the dental school, an audit that led to the resignation of the head of that foundation, who had been Tami Hansbrough’s boss. The N&O has been trying to obtain a copy of the dental foundation audit and related expense records, but has been told by foundation officials that those things are not public records. If they’re connected to a public university’s dental school and its fundraising, then they are public records and university and foundation officials only deepen suspicions when they try to claim otherwise. Thorp should support the release of the records immediately.

UNC chancellor Holden Thorp’s claims that the foundation is separate from the university are laughable. Try giving money to the foundation online, you’re redirected the university’s development site. The foundation appears to be staffed by UNC employees, with @unc email addresses. Just take a look below at this screen shot of the dental foundation’s website… which just so happens to be located on a university url:

There is much more there to discredit the current position of UNC on continued refusal to comply with public information requests surrounding every prong of this ongoing scandal, including but not limited to this particular one. HonestNC is an interesting blog. Although it should probably be made clear that SFN in no way associates itself with all of HonestNC’s messages, SFN does share the concern of the lack of clarity UNC has provided during this athletic scandal that likely now touches every sport on campus at this point. HonestNC gives it’s purpose as “We are collective of artists, scientists, clergy and civic leaders fighting for equality, education and transparency in North Carolina.”

Mr. Payne, the former member of the UNC BOG, certainly has an interesting perspective on the current scandal that few of us share. Therefore, it’s worth perusing all of his opinions on how UNC has handled this mess. And let’s be honest, in the most kind words possible it’s a real mess.

This entry in particular is VERY interesting as it links two emails from UNC President Tom Ross and an email from a current member of the UNCBOG: Link.

General UNC Scandal

29 Responses to BOG Talks “Alleged Criminal Misconduct,” But Mum On Kupec

  1. WilmyWolf 09/13/2012 at 2:03 PM #

    “Alleged Criminal Misconduct” could be any one of a dozen things.

    It’s never good if people don’t know what in particular it refers to

  2. ncsslim 09/13/2012 at 2:07 PM #

    Yeah, Chris Washburn stole a stereo. Hopefully for him there’s a statute of limitations…….

  3. packhammer 09/13/2012 at 2:10 PM #

    My experience is that normally such unapproved travel and improper reimbursement issues in government and business are dealt with by simply firing the wrongdoer, usually after an effort to get reimbursement. But at some point, the issue is actually theft. Generally for criminal liability it would require a knowing and wilful action. Also would require a significant loss to attract a prosecution. We don’t know what the facts are in this situation but it sounds like they (UNC Board) are taking this seriously.

  4. primacyone 09/13/2012 at 2:15 PM #

    My guess is somebody got caught skimming a little off the top of those Billions of fund raised dollars . . . .

  5. rtpack24 09/13/2012 at 2:18 PM #

    This situation was well known on campus and nothing happened until Dan Kane starting investigating. Dan Kane for President!!!

  6. packhammer 09/13/2012 at 2:20 PM #

    If I were know in charge or otherwise responible for that Foundation, I would want a full accounting of everything at this point. If nothing else, donors are going to want to have some assurance that everything is being done properly. Would you write a check to that Foundation today even if you have given generously in the past?

  7. ncsslim 09/13/2012 at 2:33 PM #

    I don’t want to keep going down the road to silliness, but the main thing these guys want to get out of this is to keep basketball out of the equation. While the Kupec/Trampbrough story might be a tad bit embarrassing, it will probably give the cover to “drop the hammer” and sacrifice an expendable (Kupec is pretty well indefensible) commodity and move the hell on, in the name of taking care of business.

    Hopefully Kane has his big boy pants on because the whitewashing Martin report is just around the corner, and nobody with any authority wants this thing to explode.

    In the same vein, hopefully big Dan likes Siberian winters.

  8. imawolf 09/13/2012 at 2:41 PM #

    Would be interesting if in fact this fund has been used to buy athletes and athletic benefits under the guise of a dental fund.

  9. chilly water 09/13/2012 at 2:46 PM #

    Boy howdy, Seems like there’s one giant shit-blizzard going on in chapel hill right now, any way you turn you get hit in the face with shit.

  10. Hungwolf 09/13/2012 at 4:01 PM #

    That Hans woman a home wrecker and a cougar. She already been sued for alienation of affection! Looks like she rocked Kupec’s world in more ways than one!

  11. packof81 09/13/2012 at 4:17 PM #

    Trampbrough … that’s good one.

    She had affairs with admins at 2 universities, got them to set up sinecures for her and wrecked their marriages. Maybe she’ll boil a rabbit on their stoves for good measure.

  12. WilmyWolf 09/13/2012 at 4:36 PM #

    They’re gonna go hard after this one, prosecute Kupec and Psycho Tami beyond the fullest extent of the law.

    Because it can make them look good while not touching athletics

  13. GAWolf 09/13/2012 at 5:21 PM #

    That’s when people start squealing Wilmy. No can do that better than yuppies facing prison.

  14. Pack Mentality 09/13/2012 at 6:32 PM #

    My opinion is that somehow this $3200 travel expense deal was leaked by u*nc. They will use that as the “criminal” misconduct that has the aghast, that nothing but the immediate resignation would suffice.

    They know that the public will look at that and think that is not really that big of a deal for a billion dollar fundraising chancellor. This type of thing should be swept under the rug, give him a stiff reprimand, and deal with it in private. That is how almost every company in America would treat a high performing VP if they have $3200 in suspect travel expenses.

    Give me a break… This doesn’t have a damn thing to do with $3200 charged on an expense reports over the course of a year or two. They are really playing everybody for a fool. I’m sure that if Jack Welch’s VP took a few personal flights charged to the company, but he ran a billion dollar branch of the company very successfully Welch would have booted him as VP of General Electric. This is absurd.

    Don’t fall prey to their “expense report” smoke and mirrors trick!

  15. wilmwolf80 09/13/2012 at 7:26 PM #

    The information that is out there shows pretty clearly that the Chancellor has had direct connections to all three “scandals”- football, academic, and Tami. How many more things need to come out before he is investigated? It seems pretty obvious that the corruption is going from the top down, not the bottom up.

  16. Cabin Creek Wolf 09/13/2012 at 9:01 PM #

    After reading the above blog entry, my mind can’t help but be filled with hopeful thoughts of impending enlightenment toward some deep truths coming out. And to that I give all of you my exact response:

  17. ADVENTUROO 09/13/2012 at 10:29 PM #

    Hope springs eternal. I only wish that our fellow ACC rivals wearing the light blue (sometimes) uniforms will finally wise up. There has to be a faculty uprising and there has to be a purge. I offer history to support this revelation…..The Facutly got jealous and Claude Sitton aided and abetted in the witch hunt of Jimmy V. We lost our Chancellor and Coach and AD THEN, there was a coup and the faculty brought in their Top Gun. He was good. He took out all the starch in the uniforms and hired the worst AD in NCSU History (and since he had some pretty bad ones, that is saying something). They singlehandedly destroyed our program. The result was immediate Sainthood for Dr. Monteith. The faculty still have little states of him on the bike handle bars and the dashes of their Prius’….or maybe their Volts since the Chosen One has told folks to buy one.

    Therefore, I can ONLY hope that such will happen in Chapel Hill and they will find a clone of Saint Monteith to lead them back to the academic promised land.

    And that, my wuffy friends, will be a day that I will probably get snookered beyond all my past accomplishments…..which, when I was younger….were notable…..

  18. bluelena69 09/13/2012 at 11:53 PM #

    Good grief, can one not even come onto Statefans and be spared the right-wing attacks on the President and anyone who chooses to not spew crap into the air? Its amazing…one is able to go from UNC to Larry Monteith to bashing hybrid cars to bashing the President. Give it a break. Its not particularly clever and its especially not novel. You make good points and then roll out the Fox News business.

  19. imawolf 09/14/2012 at 2:33 AM #

    What is, is, not what we wish it to be. Wishing something so doesn’t make it so. Thank Goodness we have Fox News. Thank Goodness we have

  20. RabidWolf 09/14/2012 at 5:08 AM #

    Well…..hybrid cars DO suck.

  21. EasternWakeWolf 09/14/2012 at 7:02 AM #

    @bluelena69 . . . . .Rabid wolf has a point. Hybrid cars do suck. And so does YOUR empty chair president. Thank goodness for Fox news.

  22. wolfonthehill 09/14/2012 at 7:03 AM #

    I have a hybrid Highlander. Best car I’ve ever owned… and damned fun to drive with 270hp.

    Agree… keep the politics out… and do not, for the love of God, equate SFN with FOXNews.

  23. Pack78 09/14/2012 at 7:16 AM #

    Ross’ response to Payne follows u*nx ‘s standard response of faux outrage to a completely reasonable demand for information from a public entity. What these clowns are attempting (unsuccessfully) to hide must be well beyond embarassing and well into multiple criminalities-time to send out for more popcorn even though it IS Friday…

  24. TruthBKnown Returns 09/14/2012 at 9:36 AM #

    I don’t care for Obama or democrats. But I don’t want politics creeping into my sports blogs, either.

  25. imawolf 09/14/2012 at 10:58 AM #

    I’m with PACK78, this whole mess over there is deeply rooted and deeply funded. Follow the Money….. Must be something to hide there. I was listening to a talk show this morning and a caller made mention of not wanting to beat up on the Flagship university…….. and I thought, for crying out loud, because they are the Flagship, then all the more reason there should be complete transparency.

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