Morehouse settles misuse of funds case for $1.2 million

Morehouse College has agreed to pay $1.2 million to end a federal investigation into the misuse of funds, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced Friday.

Grants from NASA and the National Science Foundation were awarded to the college to promote enrollment in scientific subjects, including engineering, technology and mathematics.

An investigation discovered that a former employee responsible for administrating the grants had used some of the money for other purposes, authorities said.

“When funds are misused by individuals administering a grant, students -- who are the intended beneficiaries -- are among the real victims,” U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a statement.

Morehouse also has agreed to start a compliance program to assure proper management of the grants. The program will include a senior-level administrator to make sure federal requirements are met, and independent audits of the funds by the college followed by annual reports to NASA and NSF for the next five years.

Morehouse cooperated with authorities during the investigation, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

In a statement, Weldon Jackson, provost and senior vice president of academic affairs, said the college has and will continue to enhance its compliance program.

“Morehouse has continued to receive grants from NASA, NSF, and other federal agencies and appreciates the vital role these agencies play in the essential work of the college," Jackson said.

The alleged misuse of funds covered a period ending in 2009, the Morehouse statement said.