The academic chairman at the center of the long-running academic fraud at UNC-Chapel Hill is now cooperating with an investigation led by Kenneth Wainstein, according to his attorney.
“Dr. (Julius) Nyang’oro has given his full and complete cooperation to the investigation being conducted by the independent counsel,” said attorney Bill Thomas of Durham.
Nyang’oro faces a criminal fraud charge related to the scandal for accepting $12,000 in special summer pay for a 2011 class that didn’t meet. Thomas has said his client did not commit a crime and would fight the charge if the case went to trial.
Thomas would not disclose what information Nyang’oro has so far provided to Wainstein, a former top U.S. Justice Department official hired in February by UNC-Chapel Hill and the UNC system to conduct the third investigation led or backed by UNC into the case. Wainstein could not be reached.
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Nyang’oro’s cooperation would mean that Wainstein now has commitments from the two people who have taken nearly all of the blame for the scandal involving lecture-style classes that never met. Nyang’oro’s longtime department manager, Deborah Crowder, agreed to cooperate with the investigation at its outset, after Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall said he would not pursue charges against her.
In the three years since the scandal first erupted, Nyang’oro and Crowder have never talked publicly about the case.