Felner Investigation Rocks Kenosha, WI

We broke the story on Monday and since then it’s gone worldwide. You’ve read all about it and by now are probably tired of hearing about Robert Felner. The situation surrounding the criminal fraud investigation against him at the University of Louisville has literally rocked the world of higher education. No where is that more true than in Kenosha, Wisconsin where journalist Gary Kunich of the Kenosha News who has done more work on the story than anyone in Louisville could imagine.

As it turns out, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, the school Felner was leaving UofL to preside over, knew all about Felner’s controversial past and were a-okay with it. Which has rightfully upset quite a few people.  But that’s not all…

Take a look at some highlights of Gary’s latest story:

University of Wisconsin-Parkside officials knew as early as last Friday that there was a federal investigation into Robert Felner when agents showed up at the chancellor’s office to take away boxes of paperwork he already sent here.
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A joint investigation of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Secret Service and the Postal Service is investigating a fraud case against Felner that involves at least $500,000 in money, potentially from $17 million in different grants. The Kenosha News learned the investigation is also looking into the purchase of illegal items.
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“Dr. Felner had shipped up here a considerable number of papers and agents took six boxes of papers with them,” he said. “They returned Wednesday afternoon and returned some of those but took one more back with them. Our staff was not involved in looking through those boxes, so we don’t know what they took and what they left.”
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Not everyone was as impressed with Felner’s credentials.

A Parkside university official said the search committee should have been concerned that he moved around too quickly from many colleges with little upward mobility.

NOTE: If you’re visiting the site for the first time or need a quick guide to the Felner/UofL story, hit the jump link for a round-up of everything so far.

Read moreFelner Investigation Rocks Kenosha, WI

Heads-Up to UofL Faculty, Staff, Students

We will not– repeat– will not reveal your private information should you choose to visit this site, pass along information, leave comments or send us email regarding anything under any circumstances.

There are rumors circulating that there’s a concerted effort to identify commenters and, well, sorry. Not gonna happen. We’ve got your back.

Page One & ‘Ville Voice Scandalizing The TeeVee – With an Update on the Felner-UofL Story

Did you notice the elephant in the room during Rick’s appearance this morning on the CW? When Rick arrived at the studio, Dan Spangler told him the Robert Felner-UofL story was too hot for the morning show to handle. The station’s general manager, Carol LaFever, said the morning show wasn’t the place for such hard news. She mentioned a rumor she’d heard that the attorney involved was upset with Page One’s coverage. So we asked her for a statement, and here’s what she said:

“Baldly put, this story is fascinating and lurid and terrible all at the same time – it deserves investigation and it’s getting that, in part thanks to you guys – but our show is a format for you to tell people about what you are doing, not to disseminate the story – I have some discomfort about what we might have heard this morning, as some of it lives in the realm of speculation – at least until the story rolls out further. I will continue to be a daily visitor to your website to see how it develops.”

If that’s not an indication that the story has become a monster, we’re not sure what is.

For the record: we spoke with journalists, news directors and managers from WLKY, WHAS, WDRB/Fox41 and the Courier-Journal and confirmed that Felner’s attorney has not attempted to silence coverage of this story.

So watch us be all scandalous on the teevee. Again. And every week.

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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…

Read moreFelner-UofL Investigation: The Neverending Story

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…

Read moreThe Felner Story: Proof of No Confidence Vote