October 22, 2008

Robert Felner indicted

Robert Felner's roller-coaster of a year -- all downhill almost from the moment he was named chancellor of UW-Parkside in June -- has come to an unpleasant end.

He was indicted today on charges of misusing federal grants, ten counts of mail fraud, money-laundering conspiracy and income-tax evasion.

The 45-page indictment (it's a large .pdf file, so be patient downloading) says that Felner took $1.7 million from the University of Rhode Island and about $576,000 from University of Louisville -- where he was dean of the College of Education and Human Development before his selection as Parkside chancellor -- and attempted to embezzle another $240,000 from the U of L.

Felner, who resigned from the U of L earlier this year, and withdrew from the Parkside position about a week before his scheduled induction into office in August, also allegedly failed to report $1.6 million in income from 2002 to 2007 and allegedly owes $500,000 in federal taxes, Kentucky U.S. Attorney Dave Huber said in a news release.

Details provided by Huber at a press conference this afternoon are reported here, by Jacob Payne of pageonekentucky.com, who has been investigating the Felner case all summer.

Here, too, is the statement issued this afternoon by the president of the University of Louisville, Dr. James Ramsey. He writes, "...The grand jury’s indictment today of former dean Robert Felner confirmed our initial concern of wrongdoing in the management of federal grant funds." Sounds good, but when this story first broke, the university defended Felner. You can find links to previous stories on RacinePost.com in our compilation of The Felner Chronicles. Go here and scroll down a bit.

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