Arrest of former FSU employee not linked to USF despite past employment

Former executive director of Seminole Productions Mark Rodin was arrested last week on fraud and grand theft charges. Despite being hired as a broadcast consultant by USF Athletics in December, the charges against Rodin aren’t connected to his time at USF. LEON COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Former executive director of Seminole Productions Mark Rodin played a pivotal role in the founding of FSU’s video production group in 1989. He was at the core of recent $6 million facility upgrades that saw the launch of ACC Network last summer.

After resigning from his position with the Seminoles in September, Rodin took his trade to USF and began working as an independent consultant for the athletics department in December. His goal was to facilitate the construction of a new broadcast facility.

But he likely won’t get to see the project come to fruition.

Rodin was arrested last Tuesday by Leon County police and is facing charges he defrauded FSU of $1.2 million. He was arrested on one count of fraud to obtain property of $50,000 and 24 counts of grand theft, according to Leon Circuit Court records and first reported by the Tallahassee Democrat

But USF wasn’t made aware of Rodin’s alleged crimes until his arrest, and his brief employment as a consultant for USF Athletics wasn’t tied to his charges.

There weren’t any prior tips or complaints about Rodin during his time at USF. The USF Police Department learned of his arrest as it happened.

“When we became aware of the warrants, Mr. Rodin had already turned himself in to Leon Co.,” USFPD spokesperson Audrey Clark wrote to The Oracle in an email.

USF Athletics also learned of the charges against Rodin shortly after his arrest and ended ties with him.

“USF Athletics is aware of the recent charges filed against Mark Rodin in connection to his employment at Florida State,” USF athletics said in a statement. “Mr. Rodin had recently served as an independent consultant to USF Athletics, helping to guide the construction of a new broadcast facility. That relationship has been discontinued.”

Rodin operated as a faculty member in the School of Communication and taught digital media production courses at FSU, but he was never involved with the USF Zimmerman School — Rodin’s employment was solely tied to USF Athletics.

“Mark Rodin has never had any role with the USF Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications,” USF spokesperson Adam Freeman wrote in an email to The Oracle.

Rodin never explained his resignation last fall, according to FSU communications, but sources told FSView he was under investigation at the time for “missing funds in the six figures.”

FSU Police Department spokesperson Lt. John Baker told the Tallahassee Democrat the university “launched multiple investigations” after an accountant noticed financial anomalies involving Seminole productions last spring.

The university didn’t have any knowledge of a deal between Rodin and the sports marketing firm IMG because it wasn’t a Florida State contract, FSU Vice President for Finance and Administration Kyle Clark said in a news release.

“Mr. Rodin arranged a production deal with IMG directly,” Clark said. “The work was carried out on university time with university facilities and materials, but the funds illegally went directly to him, which, in addition to being illegal is also a violation of university policy.”

His bail was set at $25,000 and $10,000 on the fraud and grand theft charges, respectively, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.