Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen's office having "internal conversat - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen's office having "internal conversations" about University of Louisville Foundation

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Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen's staff is having “internal conversations” about the possibility of looking into the University of Louisville Foundation after recent media reports about million-dollar payouts to U of L President James Ramsey and other top administrators.

But such conversations are routine, and Edelen's staff has only just begun determining what -- if anything -- it could investigate regarding the university foundation, spokeswoman Stephenie Hoelscher said Tuesday.

“Anytime something like this blows up in the media, we have internal conversations about it,” she said.  “There is no formal process of any sort taking place right now.”

The issues came to light in February when The Courier-Journal and Insider Louisville reported that the foundation's most recent IRS disclosure showed multi-million payments of deferred compensation to Ramsey, Provost Shirley Willihnganz and Chief of Staff Kathleen Smith in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013.

WDRB reported earlier this month that some of the deferred compensation had been backdated and credited with fictional investment returns, that Willihnganz and Smith had also been paid by a separate nonprofit created by the foundation, and that Ramsey had received $2.5 million from the foundation in fiscal year 2008 after a big retirement payout.

WDRB also reported that the foundation gave its former longtime finance committee chairman a no-bid consulting contract worth $120,000 a year shortly after he left the foundation's board.

On April 24, the Lexington Herald-Leader said in an editorial that WDRB's reports ought to “raise a few eyebrows, especially in the state auditor's office.”

Hoelscher could not say how long it will take Edelen's office to determine whether it will get involved. The internal discussions were first reported Tuesday by Insider Louisville.

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