Pending audit’s depth questioned

As the University prepares to release the findings of an internal investigation into alleged misconduct in the Division of Student Affairs, some staffers from the department are concerned the inquiry may not have probed deeply enough.

University Audit and Compliance, the office charged with carrying out the investigation, has completed its look into alleged financial impropriety by Student Affairs head Jennifer Meningall, and is working on a report of its findings, USF Spokeswoman Lara Wade said Friday.

This news raised red flags among directors and support staffers in the division, who said they were not contacted by any investigating body.

“I’m not sure what kind of investigation is being conducted. Nobody I know has been contacted,” said one director, who wished to remain anonymous, citing fears of reprisal that could include job termination.

The investigation stems from an e-mail sent Oct. 3 by James Dragna, then the second-most senior official in Student Affairs. Dragna left his position when his one-year contract, which was not renewed by Meningall, ended in late October.

Dragna accused Meningall of financial misconduct, discrimination, intimidation and physically hostile behavior toward employees. She categorically denied all accusations shortly after the release of the e-mail.

Dragna said he was in communication with University auditors shortly after their investigation began, but was critical of the depth of their inquiry. He said he was contacted Wednesday by officials from the Diversity and Equal Opportunity Office, but refused to go into further detail, saying he wanted to avoid compromising the investigation.

University Spokesman Ken Gullette said he was unsure what allegations the Office of Audit and Compliance is investigating, but that all accusations regarding personnel had been referred to Diversity and Equal Opportunity.

“I’m not sure what their timetable is,” he said.

One support staffer in Student Affairs expressed fears about talking to anyone in Human Resources, but conveyed a willingness to cooperate with investigators if contacted.

“I’d like to help, but I just want to keep my job,” the staffer said.