SUNY Research Foundation Audited for Millions in Misused Funds

Oct 17, 2012

According to a draft of a state audit obtained by the Times Union, millions of dollars from the Research Foundation of the State University of New York were mishandled, misspent or misused by SUNY or foundation employees. 

Among the questionable charges credited to the foundation, which handles $1 billion in revenue meant to foster research at SUNY, were $28,000 in personal expenses from Chancellor Nancy Zimpher’s account at the foundation, an alleged no-show job held by former Senator Joseph Bruno’s daughter, and over $130,000 charged to the foundation credit card of Buffalo State College senior manager Edgar H. Turkle III for items such as foreign travel, high-end dining and hotels, laptop computers, iPads, and iPhones which the audit said had no link to any SUNY work.

The audit has been underway since shortly after May 2011 when the state Commission on Public Integrity charged that former Research Foundation President John J. O’Connor had unlawfully allowed Susan Bruno to hold a job at the foundation, earning between $70,000 and $84,000 a year, when she “rarely, if ever, came to the office.”

The full audit is expected to be released within a week.