Inspector general: SC State diverted $6.5 million

By SEANNA ADCOXAssociated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The inspector general says South Carolina State University has diverted $6.5 million meant for agriculture research to cover debts since 2007.

Inspector General Patrick Maley said he found no fraud, but rather a pattern of mismanagement that allowed the inappropriate practice to escalate out of control.

His report comes a month after the university's president asked lawmakers for $13.6 million to pay unpaid bills that began piling up in October.

Maley says the university previously covered deficits by using state match money for a federal program that provides farming research and assistance throughout the state. The money should be restricted to the program.

Maley says university officials have agreed to create a separate account for the program and repay the $6.5 million, which is driving its current cash flow crisis.

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