Fallout continues from UofL Foundation audit

Fallout continues from UofL Foundation audit

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE ) - Plenty of reaction continues to pour in the day after a scathing audit was released on the University of Louisville Foundation.

The report cites millions of dollars in unauthorized and unbudgeted spending and alleged attempts to cover it up by the former administration.

Metro Councilman Brent Ackerson said in a statement after seeing the report, that he wants the University to seek criminal and civil prosecution against the former heads of the UofL Foundation for what he calls "their self-dealing, self-profiting and deceptive actions."

Also, the Foundation confirmed its Chief Financial Officer Jason Tomlinson is now on paid leave, but did not offer an explanation. The 135-page forensic audit of the U of L Foundation by Chicago's Alvarez and Marshal confirmed what many former trustees feared for years, unauthorized spending happening behind the scenes with millions in endowment money gone.

The audit found the ten Foundation board members who agreed to be interviewed said meetings seemed scripted, questions discouraged. Former Trustee Steve Wilson said that was how many trustees also felt.

"New board member orientations were basically instructions on how to play along," Wilson said.

Wilson was one of the first Trustees to complain about the leadership of former President Dr. James Ramsey, question his compensation deals and ask the state auditor to investigate.

WAVE 3 News asked Wilson about the findings that UofL IT allegedly erased and repurposed Dr. Ramsey's hard drive before auditors could see it and suggesting Ramsey's Chief of Staff Kathleen Smith appeared to try and hide information stating "make the paper trail to our holdings as obscure as possible."

Wilson said the findings aren't surprising at all.

"I think it's important that everything be completely revealed," Wilson said. "It is a public institution and it's disheartening to know how unfortunate all the misdeeds were."

Wilson tells us he does believe under the new leadership, both UofL boards are in good shape going forward.

Ramsey's attorney Steve Pence tells us, he's surprised no one is talking about all of Ramsey's fundraising and achievements over the years that changed the face of the university.

Pence calls the A&M report a "gotcha game" saying it's not a forensic audit and simply appears to be going after Ramsey, instead of the Foundation.

He points out that A&M itself states, it's report "did not perform an audit, examination, or review in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards."

Pence says he's going through it line by line to see if false accusations have been made against his client. Pence maintains, Ramsey twice offered to answer A&M's questions in writing but, they refused.

He says that makes no sense when the university is paying $1.7 million for the report. The University has made no decision yet on taking legal action.

"This certainly has laid the groundwork, if they were going to try and recoup any of the money that was spent if they thought there was wrongdoing there," said reporter Kate Howard with our News Partners at the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.

Kathleen Smith's Attorney Ann Oldfather agrees with Pence, saying the audit is "riddled with inaccuracies". Her full response to the accusations made about Smith in the report can also be found here.

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