Another Financial Scandal for Alabama Community Colleges

June 5, 2009

Alabama's community college system, which has been plagued by financial scandals in recent years, has a new one. The Securities and Exchange Commission says that an investment company paid for the friends and relatives of college officials to go to Broadway shows and sporting events and to eat out at top restaurants in New York City during bond-rating trips, and that the college system then reimbursed the company, effectively meaning that the system used public money to pay for these inappropriate benefits, The Birmingham News reported. The SEC fined the investment company $55,000 for its role in the payments, which took place from 2003 to 2005. The newspaper reported that during trips to New York City paid for this way in 2003, the wives, adult child and boyfriend of two-year college officials saw the musicals Gypsy, Chicago and Hairspray. And one college official brought along an aunt and uncle, who visited a college that had recently admitted their son. According to the college system, none of the employees involved work for the system today.

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