Fmr. UofL asst. dean accused of giving unauthorized funds

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by Gene Kang

WHAS11.com

Posted on July 15, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 15 at 5:33 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A former assistant dean at the University of Louisville Brandeis Law School will face a judge on a criminal charge. He’s accused of awarding scholarships not authorized by the university.

Brandon Hamilton worked for the University of Louisville for a decade, spending four years at the Brandeis School of Law, but the former assistant dean is in hot water.

Prosecutors said Brandon Hamilton nearly quadrupled scholarship money without permission; something the interim dean discovered on her sixth day on the job.

"I ran the numbers and realized we definitely had over awarded what the budget was for," said Susan Duncan, Brandeis School of Law Interim Dean.

Hamilton, who resigned, accessed the school's computer network without approval and promised incoming law students millions of dollars in scholarships.  The internal UofL audit goes on to state the school had a budget of $550,000 for first year law students for Fall 2012.  Instead, Hamilton allegedly made offers hitting $1.3 million for the first year; more than $2.4 million in excess of the budget over three years.

"He's actually out of state. He's in Portland," said prosecutor James Lesousky.

Hamilton's court case was continued to next week, facing a charge of "unlawful access to a computer."  The audit states that signatures of the faculty chair may have been forged, university records destroyed and the computer system manipulated. He's currently the Director of Admission for the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland.      

The school maintained their promise to the 104 students.

"I thought it was important to honor every scholarship commitment we made and that's what we've done," said Duncan.

But they have to fund-raise to make up for the shortfall.  They'll use endowment money and rainy day funds for the loss.  Duncan called for an action plan with the finance department and school president to make sure this never happens again.

"We have better control over who can do the scholarships, when they should be given out and how we do fee waivers," said Duncan.

Hamilton is due in court July 22. UofL says they have never heard a motive behind the crime.

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