Ky. Attorney General's criminal division opens probe into Univer - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Ky. Attorney General's criminal division opens probe into University of Louisville Foundation

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --  The criminal division of Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office has requested a number of records from the University of Louisville – including emails and the re-purposed computer hard drive used by former U of L President James Ramsey – after Beshear's office reviewed the scathing forensic investigation of the U of L Foundation released last month.

Beshear spokesman Terry Sebastian would not comment on whether the request represents a criminal investigation, confirming only that the attorney general's office has "sought additional information" from the university.

In a statement Thursday, U of L interim President Greg Postel said the university is fully cooperating with Beshear’s “investigation.”

“It is important to our students, faculty, staff, supporters and community to determine if any wrongdoing took place and to hold accountable any individuals who are found to have been involved,” Postel said. “Our focus, though, is and will remain providing an outstanding education to our students, conducting leading-edge research, improving our community through service and continuing to build one of America’s finest metropolitan research universities.”

Last month Beshear said his office would review the June 8 forensic report for any potential criminal activity and likely ask the university for more information.

Beshear’s request was outlined in a June 30 letter to Postel, which WDRB obtained from the university.

After reviewing the forensic report, the Attorney General's office said it determined that "several areas of concern" should be addressed, according to the letter signed by John Moberly, commissioner of the Department of Criminal Investigations. 

The Attorney General’s office has requested access to Ramsey’s hard drive, which, according to the forensic report, had been re-purposed by the U of L technology staff prior to the start of the forensic investigation in November.

Beshear's office also requested "any documentation authorizing and/or justifying" foundation compensation to Ramsey, former Ramsey chief of staff Kathleen Smith and foundation Chief Financial Officer Tomlinson -- as well as emails exchanged among those three officials from June 1, 2016 and Sept. 30, 2016.

Ramsey took a buyout from the university in late July and resigned from the foundation in September.

Beshear's office also told U of L to preserve "all emails and related material" by foundation officers and board members, as well as university trustees.

Beshear's office also asked for permission to meet with Alvarez & Marsal, the Chicago firm that produced the forensic investigation.

The letter indicates that Beshear's office is interested in the legality and approval of a $38 million loan of the university's short-term cash to the U of L Real Estate Foundation (a sister organization of the foundation) executed in 2015.

WDRB first reported on the transaction, which officials insisted was not a loan, last year, noting that it was approved by neither the foundation nor university board.

The letter is below:

Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822, cotts@wdrb.com, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2017 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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