The FDLE reported that "a total of seventy-nine (79) of the individuals who received per diem were not, in fact, registered students of the University." It did not include an estimated grand total for the per diem funds.
Another section of the report found that ex-Director of Bands Julian E. White “failed to report the theft of the band dues to FAMU Police Department for approximately three (3) months after the theft was discovered. Statements from witnesses indicated that the amount of the stolen funds was $30,000 to $40,000. The funds consisted of cash, personal checks, money orders, and cashier’s checks. In Mr. White’s report to the FAMU Police Department, he stated that only $12,000 in cash was stolen.”
Those issues all needed to be addressed. But the FDLE did not find that any laws were broken in those cases. Its conclusion stated that there were breeches of university-level rules.
The Tallahassee Democrat's editorial board has depicted the FDLE's findings as proof that "Things were very wrong at Florida A&M."
The most serious issue in the FDLE report involved an estimated $40,000. The Democrat's editorial board members did not write that "things were very wrong" at Florida State University (FSU) when an internal audit showed that the construction manager for the Student Success Building "billed and the University paid $60,000 of questionable salary expenses."
Problems caused by individual employees who violate university policies do not mean that the central financial books aren't being managed correctly. The clean annual Florida auditor general audits that FAMU and FSU continue to receive despite various internal financial policy compliance issues at both schools show that.
FAMU does have some work to do in making sure that financial problems that took place inside the Marching 100 don’t happen, again. But in the meanwhile, FAMUans shouldn't hold their breaths for the Democrat's editorial board to give the findings on FSU's internal audits or state operational audits the same attention that gives to FAMU's financial issues.
Read the four-page FDLE report here.