Felner’s Expenditures in RI Now Being Reviewed

The Neverending Story of Felner: Take XVII

According to Nancy Rodriguez of the Courier-Journal (which has yet to cite us, even though we offered to help the paper out with the story well before I decided to break it myself), The University of Rhode Island is now reviewing expenditures made by Robert Felner while he was employed there (1996-2003).

The federal investigation into allegations of mishandled funds at the University of Louisville has led another university to review grant expenditures made by the dean at the center of the investigation.

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Felner was the director of URI’s School of Education until he left in 2003 to become U of L’s education dean, although he continued to serve on URI’s National Center on Public Education and Social Policy until 2006.

Scott C. Cox, Felner’s attorney, saw URI’s review as standard.

“I just think when accusations are made like this it would be normal for his prior employer to look at their records,” he said in an interview yesterday.

Based on traffic statistics for Page One today alone, we’re pretty sure everybody under the sun is reviewing anything ever touched by anyone if it involves a grant. Thousands upon thousands of visits from UofL, URI, UW-Parkside, Yale, every media outlet in the country.

Stay tuned.

Felner-UofL Investigation: The Neverending Story

Wow. EFL Associates, the search firm responsible for finding Robert Felner for the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, charged $70,000 in fees and expenses. We’re pretty much certain at this time that UW-Parkside is convulsing on the floor of its local dive bar and/or trying to drink the pain away. Can you even imagine? $70,000 and EFL didn’t turn up a damn thing?

Also, some spokesman for UW-Parkside is whining that the only specifics about Felner and the federal investigation have come from Felner’s attorney. Isn’t it hilarious how people just sit in denial any time a lowly little blogger comes along and rocks their world? It’s like the one or two journalists that still exist who refuse to have anything to do with me or information I have obtained because I’m “just a blogger.”

But finally! The mainstream media reports what we’ve been saying all along: there was a vote of no confidence, the criminal investigation could involve the purchase of illegal goods/items, and are the MSM is now reporting all the little details we’ve had for days. See for yourself in this story by Gary Kunich of the Kenosha News.

Colleagues of Robert Felner at the University of Louisville tried to have him fired and gave him a “no confidence” vote during a 2006 staff meeting.

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The Kenosha News has learned that it might also include the purchase of illegal goods.

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Observers say investigators wouldn’t let Felner out of their sight and even followed him to the men’s room before escorting him from the building.

Oh, oh– and the Kenosha News actually gives credit where credit is due:

Jacob Payne, an editor for Page One Kentucky, a political news blog, said he spoke to several sources at the University of Louisville who said Felner argued with officials because he didn’t want to return his computers to the school last week.

On a more interesting note, the search firm tasked with bringing Felner to Kenosha was actually aware of the no-confidence vote (side story on the page) and UW-Parkside totally blew it off. Woopsie daisy.

Maybe it’s just our ego, but there appears to still be great journalism in places like Kenosha.

Read the rest – including some juicy rumor – after the jump…

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The Felner Story: Proof of No Confidence Vote

Who knew? Basically, everyone wants to talk these days and we’re barely able to field all the phone calls. (Who wants to help pay for extra cell phone minutes this month? Goodness.)

We mentioned in the first story about Robert Felner (read that HERE) that there was a vote of no confidence in him by UofL faculty and we are finally ready to publish those notes. We didn’t plan on doing so until Felner’s attorney, Scott Cox, took it upon himself to declare that everything on the internet was filled with “misinformation” a few moments ago on WHAS11’s 5:00 P.M. newscast. For the record: My sources are law enforcement officials, officers, UofL officials, faculty, staff, former employers, coworkers, et al. I don’t peddle misinformation and I take my integrity seriously.

So. That vote. Enjoy the minutes from that faculty meeting regarding Robert Felner’s vote of No Confidence. We’ve decided to publish initials instead of full names to protect those who don’t deserve to have their names in the press.

Here’s the juiciest portion of the minutes:

P.P. gave the following reasons why he supported the motion: Public humiliation of faculty, work place harassment, retaliation for voicing opinions, little or no governance, decisions that hurt College, unacceptable and unfair hiring practice; rude, offensive, unethical behavior by CEHD representatives; denial of support for research to those who differ in opinion; and extreme inequity of pay.

Now for the full minutes.

Motion 1: “Move that a vote of No Confidence in Dean Robert Felner now by secret ballot by tenured and probationary faculty.”

Motion 2: “That an ad hoc committee be formed to promote faculty governance, to revise the Bylaws of the College of Education and Human Development, and that the committee be comprised of one faculty member from each department, elected now, at this meeting, by the entire faculty, by secret ballot.”

Motion to add motions was seconded by E.M. Call for secret ballot. Robert clarified that a “Yes” vote would add these items and suspend agenda to deal with these items first. A “No” would mean that the meeting would continue with agenda as written. Vote: Yes=36; No=16 Motion passed.

Motion from P.P.: Vote of no confidence in Robert’s leadership. Motion seconded. Discussion. Robert asked for those who wanted to speak to the motion.

Read the rest after the jump…

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UofL/Felner Federal Investigation Update

Yeah, it’s a big deal. Now the media is all up on this story. And it only took a newspaper in Kenosha, Wisconsin of all places to recognize just how big of a deal it is.

Reporter Gary Kunich of the Kenosha News has the skinny on everything surrounding Robert Felner. The news of his role in the investigation (which we broke), him resigning from his new job and everything in between.

Take a look:

According to a report on Page One Kentucky, an online news blog, Felner was packing up his office in Louisville Friday when federal investigators swarmed in to cart away computers and paperwork from his office and other areas of the College of Education. The blog said federal agents escorted Felner to the bathroom and out of the building.

Page One reported that sources at the school said the investigation surrounds up to $17 million total in grant money, and many on the Louisville faculty had tried to get Felner fired.

How fancy is that? Local media blinks when we throw a story in its lap. Media from another state gives credit where credit is due.

And check this choice quote:


“I am absolutely thrilled with the outcome,” said Christine Evans, head of the Parkside search committee, at the time. “It really was a case that Felner is so superb that no one was going to look better than him. He’s very energetic; he’s very idealistic, and he really has a genuine hunger to make a difference, or he is able to present himself that way.”

Long story short, this is now out there for public consumption and open for discussion. And we’re only scratching the surface.

More on the UofL/Felner Investigation

It just gets crazier and crazier.  Mainstream is using his photo, so we guess we’ll start doing the same.

The C-J reports (See that? We talk about where we get our stories from) that there’s an allegation that roughly $500,000 of federal grant money was mishandled by Felner. After speaking with our sources, we believe that’s $500,000 in question from more than one grant.  E.g., could be funds from a total of the $17million figure we gave you earlier.

Naturally, Felner’s attorney (Scott Cox, probably the best around and easily as powerful as Ann Oldfather) says he hasn’t mishandled anything.

Turns out the investigation is being conducted by The United States Postal Service, the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Which meshes with what we’ve heard from UofL officials.

What exactly would the USPS and Secret Service investigate? What sort of crimes do they usually handle? We know the USPS investigates everything from identity theft to child porn and money laundering when it involves the postal system. But we are not alleging anything. Repeat, that’s not an allegation. Just saying we know those are three areas of crimes usually investigated by the USPS.

So, folks, let’s discuss. What could Felner have (allegedly) done with UofL money that would involve the mail? I know, it’s any number of things. But would any number of things also require that the Secret Service get involved? Law enforcement readers: care to chime in?

UPDATE @ 10:47: According to the Kenosha News, Felner resigned his new position as University of Wisconsin-Parkside Chancellor.

Hope to have more on this story tomorrow. Also, thanks for all of the comments, folks. And thanks for pointing out that the SS & USPS could be involved for any number of reasons. Some of which we hadn’t even thought of.

Mainstream Media Dead Silent on UofL Investigation

Our sources on the University of Louisville scandal tell us today that the amount of funds in question has climbed to $17 million. In our story on Page One yesterday, we were able to identify the individual at the center of the investigation, describe the tense situation within the College of Education on Friday, and even give some details about Mr. Felner’s past and future plans.

We published our story at about 3:00 P.M., giving TV news staffs time to put together updated stories on the crisis, and identifying the U of L professor who was being questioned. But the TV stations instead chose to run brief updates of the story, citing a Wisconsin paper as its only source. With even more time to get an accurate and informative story, newspapers did even less.

By now, we’ve accepted the mainstream media paranoia about mentioning us as a source. We don’t understand it, but suppose that since we don’t carry the weight of the Associated Press, whom they cite incessantly for doing their research for them. But in this case, there’s a story of major impact on the University of Louisville, and the mainstream media forces seem content to pick up an AP article from Wisconsin as a way to advance the story. All when they could cite us for a bunch more info on the whole situation.

Read the rest of the juicy, juicy after the jump…

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