Former Edison president tried to change audit findings

Former Edison College president Kenneth Walker

Former Edison president tried to change audit findings

By Matt Grant. CREATED Jan 23, 2012

FORT MYERS. Fla. - Former Edison president Ken Walker tried to change the results of two independent audits because he didn't like the results, according to the college's law firm, Fowler-White.

"Frankly I didn't expect it to be as extensive as this," said board member Pamela Seay.

In the midst of a course-swapping scandal last July, the college hired a consulting firm the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officer (AACRAO) to conduct an audit.

That investigation revealed what auditors called a "culture of fear" at the college.

But that line never made it into the final report. That's because Walker "improperly interfered" by asking auditors "not to use the word 'fear'" and asking them instead to "refer to a lack of communication," the college's law firm found.

In an e-mail, Walker seems to even offer them a job if the report turns out the way he wants.

"I am pleased to learn that AACRAO can provide interim registrar services," Walker wrote. "We will discuss the possibility of this and make a decision sometime after we review your report."

AACRAO denies any bribery took place. According to Edison's attorneys, Walker's meddling didn't end there.

After allegations of racial discrimination surfaced, Walker attempted to "direct the course of the investigation" and became "very uncomfortable" when the law firm hired to do the investigation found evidence of racial discrimination in hiring, according to Fowler-White.

The college's report goes on to say VP of Financial Services Gina Doeble "witnessed Dr. Walker threatening" the firm, Henderson-Franklin, if they "did not change their findings."

In the Henderson-Franklin report, the language was changed but not their findings.

The board of trustees meets Tuesday. Fowler-White will make their presentation to the board that they have enough evidence that Walker broke his contract and can be fired with cause.

Matt Grant