The Inside Story: Paine launches probe after audit leak, break-in at president's office

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Wednesday, April 25, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- An intruder broke into the office of Paine College President Dr. George Bradley days after the private institution's audit was leaked to the media.

"We have visionary leadership," said Brandon Brown, VP of Institutional Advancement. "We are moving forward."

Paine College leaders took to the airwaves after a internal audit was leaked to the media. It reveals the school has temporarily lost access to a federal loan.

"Your Pell Grants, your student loans, your Hope," Brown said. "All those were never in jeopardy."

The college released a statement admitting to an "unanticipated financial" shortfall. They acknowledged alleged mismanagement of funds has left the college stripped of the Federal Perkins Loan.

"It is regrettable that we did lose the Perkins Loan," Brown said. "But the side of the story that wasn't told was that when people graduate from college, you have to pay back your loans. Some of our graduates went into default."

The college is also now investigating a break-in at the president's office.

"The president's safety is important, along with the students here at the college, and the institution and protecting itself is something we are going to do," Brown said.

All big-ticket items like computers and televisions were left behind.

"First a private institution's audit is leaked, and now someone breaks in the president's office," we noted. "Do you think this is connected? And what are people after?"

"We're working with local law enforcement to investigate and ascertain what exactly happened," Brown said.

The shattered glass is prompting the college to launch an internal probe to determine how the private audit was leaked.

"Paine College has been that cutting-edge institution," Brown said. "Its safety will be safeguarded."

Brown insists the college is on sound financial footing.

"This year we reaffirmed our accreditation for another 10 years," he said. "We have applied, and we are going to be starting graduate programs this fall."

Through it all, the students are still bringing home the goods. First-year Golf Coach Herman Belton Jr. helped the school bring home the SIAC golf championship trophy.

The team now heads to Florida to compete on Mother's Day weekend at the PGA Minority Golf Invitational. Paine College has lost access to the Perkins Loan until 2014. It is a less than $400,000 account that reportedly awards up to $20,000 annually to students. Paine College has a $23 million budget.


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