* Illinois Public Radio…
A just-released investigation by Illinois’ Inspector General’s office found that the former head of the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) abused public resources and wasted state funds, among other findings.
The IBHE announced in 2012 that Dr. George Reid was stepping down for “personal reasons” as its director after only 18 months, according to a news release. Reid supposedly wanted to spend more time with his family.
The Office of Executive Inspector General found that he had, in fact, been forced to resign or face getting fired after consistent reports that he was “combative,” the IBHE forced him to resign, or he’d be fired. But then it paid Reid $48,000 – three months’ salary — that investigators say wasn’t required by his contract.
The board had hired Reid for $193,000 a year, knowing he’d had his contract voided from Kentucky State University after he used university money there to pay for personal items, including a trailer hitch for his boat and a cat scratching post. He later reimbursed the university $1,600.
In Illinois, Reid had used his state-owned car for personal use, making IBHE pay more than $6,500 in extra car rental fees, according to the inspector general.
In his settlement agreement, the IBHE Board added a clause at the last minute on their lawyer’s advice requiring Reid to consult during the transition to find a new executive director “to make sure there are no press issues that he is being paid for services not performed.”
Emphasis added for obvious reasons.
The full report can be seen by clicking here.
According to the report, Reid also submitted his initial job application after the due date. This was apparently board’s chairperson Carrie Hightman’s decision. Hightman told investigators that other board members pointed to problems in Reid’s past, particularly in Kentucky.
* Eventually, Hightman ordered a staff review of Reid’s tenure. The results weren’t pretty…
* Drove talented staff away “[r]unning”
* Was “combative” and “rude” to IBHE staff
* Did not maintain positive relationships with leadership of other State agencies
* Did not demonstrate an understanding of important IBHE programs and initiatives
* So, what did the IBHE do next? According to the report, the board voted to destroy the audio recording of a private. 2010 meeting when they discussed Reid’s hiring.