More trouble for Stevens Institute?
Possible misuse of Federal funds?
Oh boy – after apparently “settling” their case with the State of NJ – it seems that Stevens Institute of Technology is back in the “money news” again.
ABC News reported today that questions are being asked about possible misuse of Federal Department of Homeland Security funds received by Stevens Tech.
“Two state officials described the federal inquiries about the possible misuse of nearly $3 million in Homeland Security grant money distributed to the Hoboken-based technical college, which has spent months under fire over allegations that it mismanaged its books. The state officials discussed the conversations on the condition they not be identified.
The non-profit university had in recent years become a darling of New Jersey’s congressional delegation, which has directed millions of dollars in congressional earmarks and federal grants to the school. In 2008 alone, Stevens received $12.8 million in defense related earmarks requested by Sens. Robert Menendez (D), Frank Lautenberg (D) and other New Jersey lawmakers. Stevens also received $4.8 million in stimulus funds through grants from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. departments of transportation, health and human services, and education.”
Case vs. NJ settled…
Raveche to resign, parties agree to new procedures
The State of NJ and Stevens Institute have reached a settlement agreement. Here are some documents to review:
- NJ Attorney General Statement
- Final Consent Judgment
- Message from Lawrence Babbio
- Statement from retired Judge Zazzali (board of trustees)
Chairman Babbio says everything’s fine
Here we have an update from Lawrence T. Babbio Jr., Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Stevens Institute of Technology.
In regards to President Hal Raveché’s compensation, he says it’s “performance based” and in line with similar positions at other institutions. And in regards to the reduction of the endowment fund, he pointed at the fledgling economy as the culprit.
Hal Raveché’s “fiscal impropriety” story makes the NY Times today.
Endowment shrinks by $40+ million
“You’ve got allegations involving excessive compensation, but also abuse of the endowment, keeping two sets of books, misleading the board and forgiveness of below-market-rate loans,” Mr. Siegel said. “The entire process of oversight looks tainted. You rarely see a case this extreme.”
“They were all beholden to him, and there were no controls on what he spent,” Mr. Cuff said. “He’d travel the world, keeping no receipts. He’d come to the West Coast, have limousines meet him, stay in five-star hotels, all under the guise of raising money. And it was very, very expensive.”
Seems that Hoboken is never more than a stone’s throw away from a crisis, investigation or lawsuit…
NJ State Attorney General Anne Milgram has her sights set on removing powerful Stevens Institute President Hal Raveche from his position at the Hoboken school. According to the Newark Star-Ledger, Milgram plans to file a lawsuit today charging the school with fiscal impropriety and seeking to remove its top two leaders.
See previous updates after the jump!
AG spokesman David Wald said the state’s two-year investigation also discovered misappropriation of endowment funds and excessive compensation.
Ahead of that suit, Stevens has filed it’s own suit seeking for any case to be pursued through confidential arbitration away from the eyes of the public. Raveche has been criticized for the millions of dollars in salary and loans he has received from the school. The staunch Republican was a favorite of former Mayor David Roberts.
The AG is also seeking to have Board of Trustees Chairman Lawrence Babbio (of Babbio Center fame) removed from Stevens. Under Raveche, Stevens has taken a heavy-handed approach in dealing with Hoboken community groups that have called the school’s ambitious development plans into question.