UNC School of the Arts Interim Chancellor James Moeser this week thanked State Auditor Beth Wood for uncovering problems with an employee who had misappropriated a laptop computer for her son's personal use. He also promised new procedures to prevent such state property misuse in the future.
"We believe that the fact that we have had only one financial audit finding over the last 22 years validates UNCSA's serious efforts toward ensuring properly functioning internal controls," Moeser wrote to Wood.
Of course, Moeser, the former UNC-Chapel Hill chancellor, is a short timer at the public arts conservatory in Winston-Salem. He's been the interim leader for just a month. So Dome can forgive him for not remembering to mention UNCSA's past problems on investigative audits.
UNCSA has been slapped in two previous investigative audits in the past decade. In 2003, an audit found that the school did not follow surplus property policy during a dispute with a contractor. In 2004, an audit tracked irregular financial transactions through the school and its foundation. The investigation found that thousands of dollars were diverted to secret accounts and spent on leases of luxury vehicles and country club dues.
The former auditor, the late Ralph Campbell, minced no words when he compared the school's 2004 actions to "the debacle at Enron where money was shuffled between related entities to avoid detection."
— Staff writer Jane Stancill