NKU’s legal counsel met with a Campbell County commonwealth attorney on Nov. 3 to discuss a potential criminal investigation into the activities of former NKU dance team coach Jennifer Hilvert, according to an emailed statement from NKU’s Director of Marketing and Communications Chris Cole.
The legal counsel met with Michelle Snodgrass, but the university could release no further details at the time, according to the statement.
The possibility for an investigation comes after NKU announced they terminated Hilvert from her position in June after finding she misappropriated approximately $6,800 in charges using a university procurement card.
Kelly Martin, NKU assistant vice president for marketing and communications, said the university discovered the misappropriation of funds by Hilvert through a heightened financial review stemming from a previous case of misappropriation of funds from former NKU Athletic Director Scott Eaton.
“Through heightened attention to our review process, questionable procurement card use was discovered. This launched an immediate internal follow-up where we examined the five years of records we retained,” Martin said in a prepared statement.
Hilvert immediately repaid approximately $5,300 back to NKU, according to Martin. Hilvert also promised the university she intends to pay the rest of the balance.
Martin said NKU President Geoffrey Mearns was made aware of the situation early on in the process.
“While the President was made aware of a potential issue early on, the eventual resolution of this specific matter was managed without his knowledge,” she said in the statement. “While we are always improving our policies and procedures, this is an example of the process working.”
Mearns, however, told local news organization WCPO on Oct. 24 that he wasn’t “…aware of any incidents since March of 2013 where an NKU employee used a procurement card to steal $310,000… I’m not aware of any similar incident.”
Mearns also said it was possible an employee has misused a procurement card for a $5 purchase, but that he wasn’t aware of any incident “similar to the Scott Eaton matter.”
Regardless, Martin said this follow up process was handled business-as-usual by university human resources, legal affairs and student affairs.
Scott Eaton was terminated in March 2013 for inappropriate affairs with four university staff members and one student. His misappropriation of funds was uncovered later after an audit of the athletic department.
Eaton agreed to serve 10 years in prison, after pleading guilty to charges brought against him by the university in April.
The Northerner will continue to investigate this ongoing story. Check back to TheNortherner.com for continuous updates as they become avaialble.
See links to the local media reports here:
I-Team: Another NKU staff member fired for embezzling thousands of dollars in school funds
NKU fires dance team coach for theft
Check back to TheNortherner.com for continuous updates as they become available.
Also, see past Northerner coverage of former NKU Athletic Director Scott Eaton’s financial embezzlement at the links below.
New athletic director replaces former AD Scott Eaton
Former athletic director admits to embezzling up to $150,000
Eaton used deceptive means to divert $100,000- 150,000 from university for personal use
Eaton fired for “inappropriate” relationships with five women
Campus responds to firing with mixed feelings, confusion
Athletic director Scott Eaton terminated
EDIT: Kelly Martin, assistant vice president for marking and communications, released this statement:
“Through heightened attention to our review process, questionable procurement card use was discovered. This launched an immediate internal follow-up where we examined the five years of records we retained. The review found the employee, whose employment was terminated in June, had made approximately $6,800 in misappropriated charges to the University. She immediately repaid approximately $5,300 back to the University and has told us she intends to pay the balance. This follow up was handled as a normal course of business by human resources, legal, and student affairs, who worked quickly and closely to respond to the situation. While the President was made aware of a potential issue early on, the eventual resolution of this specific matter was managed without his knowledge. While we are always improving our policies and procedures, this is an example of the process working.”