Former NCCU officials indicted

Former director of the Historically Minority Colleges and Universities Consortium Nan Coleman and former provost Beverly Washington Jones
September 5, 2012 9:00:00 PM PDT
Two former North Carolina Central University officials have been indicted by a Durham County grand jury on embezzlement charges.

Former provost Beverly Washington Jones and former director of the Historically Minority Colleges and Universities Consortium Nan Coleman have been at the center of a missing money scandal at the school that ABC11 first reported on last year.

In June 2011, the North Carolina Office of The State Auditor released a report that accused Coleman of diverting $1 million in funds for the Universities Consortium project to a checking account for payments to herself and others.

The Historically Minority Colleges and Universities Consortium was created in 1999 as a partnership between the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and 12 North Carolina historically minority institutions of higher education. It was intended to work on strategies to close the minority achievement gap in North Carolina with an emphasis on students from kindergarten through twelfth grade.

The audit alleges Coleman and Washington Jones set up the program as a separate entity outside of North Carolina Central and that led to a lack of oversight from the university that allowed them to pocket some of the money meant to fund it.

"The former Executive Director received over $287,000 and the former Provost received nearly $62,000 from the diverted funds," said the audit.

Click here to read the audit (.pdf)

The auditor's report said the General Assembly began funding the Historically Minority Colleges and Universities Consortium in fiscal year 2001 and it received $3,586,400 in state appropriations through fiscal year 2010. It also got grants from private organizations, federal agencies, and state agencies.

In a news release in April, 2010, NC Central Chancellor Charlie Nelms said the program had taken in a total of about $13 million and he was asking for an outside investigation of alleged embezzlement by a former employee.

Nelms said the Consortium has been discontinued, the leaders responsible no longer work for NCCU, the suspect checking account has been frozen, and new policies have been put in place.

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