University of North Carolina system President Erskine Bowles said Friday that he contacted the offices of the state auditor and attorney general late Thursday to report the alleged financial irregularities recently turned up in a draft version of an internal audit at N.C. Central University.
The draft audit says that three NCCU employees involved with an education agency based at the campus diverted tens of thousands of dollars from a grant-funded program to themselves or to companies they started.
NCCU Chancellor Charlie Nelms called Bowles after getting a call about the audit from The News & Observer on Thursday.
Nelms had ordered the audit after the university fired an official with the agency for unrelated reasons.
He said in an interview Thursday that he didn't fully trust the audit, though, which he called sloppy. He said he wanted to examine notes from the audit and source documents from the agency being audited before determining whether there had been any wrongdoing, and before releasing a final version to the public.
Nelms said that he also had fired the auditor, for unrelated reasons, after she turned in the draft.
Bowles, speaking to the UNC Board of Governors on Friday, lauded Nelms' integrity.
"I have complete confidence he'll get to the bottom of this," Bowles said.
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