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…

Read moreMainstream Media Dead Silent on UofL Investigation

Federal Investigation at UofL – What’s Going On?

Remember that mysterious investigation at the University of Louisville that popped up last week? The one where TV crews flooded UofL’s campus only to report that they didn’t know anything? The investigation that the U.S. Attorney’s office admits is taking place?

Who could forget? Some dudes with guns loading dozens of boxes into black SUVs aren’t easily overlooked. Since UofL isn’t talking and everyone is batshiz nervous, we figured we’d raise some questions about what we’ve heard.

We know the offices that investigators were in were those of College of Education officials. Specifically, the office of Robert Felner, Dean of the school. (view Felner’s massive curriculum vitae here.) Felner, whose last day coincided with the arrival of investigators (conveniently after all of his boxes were packed and he was ready to jet), controls a massive No Child Left Behind grant worth about $12.5 million.

Now for the juicy rumor portion of the story. After the jump.

Read moreFederal Investigation at UofL – What’s Going On?

MAJOR ALERT: There are Gay People at UofL

Did you know? There are gay people at the University of Louisville! OH THE HORROR!

David Edmunds of the right-wing Family Foundation wrote an op-ed published in the Courier-Journal today screaming about how terrible it is that UofL opened an Office for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Services with a director who makes $67,207 per year. How scary is that?


At the same time U of L was raising tuition and pressuring lawmakers for more Kentucky tax dollars, it announced the brand new Office for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Services, complete with full-time director, Brian Buford, whose services command a cool $67,207 annually.

On May 12, U of L announced, “Buford also plans to review employee policies and benefits to make sure they’re consistent with the university’s diversity mission…Provide coordination and support for existing LGBT groups, such as commonGround.”

Does “coordinating and supporting” the political agenda of special interest groups like commonGround really warrant $67,207 of student and taxpayer money?

Edmunds ignorantly tries to paint the picture that rising tuition costs are the result of domestic partner benefits. Riiiight.

And he then goes on to freak out about an assistant professor’s interests in studying black drag queens:

According to U of L’s Web site, Kaila Story occupies the Audre Lorde Chair and details her areas of research: “Recently, I have been specifically investigating how the black male-bodied Drag Queen’s presence within queer ‘subcultures’ disrupts mainstream notions of what is considered natural and fixed signifiers of black femininity and/or womanhood.” (http://louisville.edu/a-s/ws/kaila.htm)

Maybe President Ramsey can explain exactly how studying “black male bodied drag queens” moves Kentucky forward.

How hilarious is all that? We couldn’t make it up if we tried.

Call me crazy, but… wouldn’t Edmunds’ argument be taken more seriously if he didn’t set off the old gaydar? Old boy is complaining more than Frank Simon and Stan Lee these days. Something is up with that. You don’t even hear Kentucky Republicans complaining about the gays anymore but a few folks like David Edmunds can’t let go.

Reminder: UofL Student Walk Out Wednesday

This is a reminder for the media executives who don’t want their reporters covering anything other than the weather, march madness or George Clooney coming to Maysville.

As we reported weeks ago, students at the University of Louisville will protest Governor Steve Beshear’s lovely handling of higher education cost increases in Kentucky this Wednesday by walking out. At 1:11 P.M. this Wednesday, March 26, 2008, students will gather in front of the UofL President’s Office at Grawemeyer Hall (near the intersection of 3rd St & Eastern Pkwy).

From a Facebook group set up for the event:

The University of Louisville consistently places the burden of our state’s budget crises on US – the STUDENTS. This is completely unacceptable, and we are calling on the university administration to explore every option available as to ensure tuition rates DO NOT increase above the rate of inflation for the 2008-2009 school year.

All UofL students are urged to walk out of their classes on Wednesday, March 26th, at 1:11 pm, and attend a rally in front of Grawemeyer Hall near the The Thinker in protest of our university administration’s constant refusal to include OUR VOICE in matters that affect OUR lives.

The skinny:

  • What: Students to walk out at UofL
  • When: Wednesday, March 26 at 1:11 P.M.
  • Where: Rally in front of The Thinker / President’s office @ Grawemeyer Hall

So, media, show up. Give the everyday student in Kentucky a voice.

Let’s Stop with the Photo Controversy

kissing.jpgWe blinked when we saw this picture in the Courier-Journal after the Cards-Cats basketball game. Odd shot, but nothing to get worked up over.

Now it’s become a national story, thanks to a bunch of smart-asses who are using it as a reason to pull out their staple of bad Kentucky gay/black guy jokes. Not funny.

It’s like Jim Rome reading the disgusting e-mails from his “clones” on radio, spotlighting the worst qualities of people with nothing better to do. The worst of it is at the national gossip blog Gawker, where everyone’s a comedian. I’m happy that the newspaper isn’t apologizing for publishing the shot, which is simply two players celebrating a good moment. That’s it. Really. Quit with the analysis.