- Associated Press - Friday, December 2, 2016

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Legislative auditors have turned over to prosecutors their review of the Arkansas State University System, including some findings related to the university’s former chancellor who resigned shortly before the school year began.

Former chancellor Tim Hudson, 62, stepped down after the issuance of several internal audits that were critical of him and his wife, Deidra Hudson, who ran the university’s study abroad program. On Thursday, Arkansas Legislative Audit turned over its annual audit of the university system to prosecutors.

“We will review Legislative Audit’s findings and make a decision thereafter” on whether any criminal charges are warranted, prosecutor Scott Ellington told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/2gHYVui )

The legislative audit’s findings mirrored those in the university’s internal audits. One criticized Deidra Hudson’s management of the study abroad program. Another internal audit showed issues of potential conflict of interest involving the couple, as well as the former chancellor possibly violating a state law in trying to get tuition assistance for his daughter. The final internal audit showed Tim Hudson submitted reimbursements for travel expenses to the system’s new campus in Mexico, when the reimbursements were actually paid for by the school’s partners at the campus.

“We have policies in place,” ASU System president Charles Welch said. “I mean, obviously, you can’t enforce every time an employee is going to follow those or not, but as soon as we made that determination - and one of the things we talked about is additional training and education with our employees about what is appropriate and what’s not appropriate and making sure they don’t cross that ethical line - and we’re certainly sensitive to that.”

When asked if he knew where Hudson currently is, Welch said he wasn’t sure if the former chancellor is employed elsewhere but is “99.99 percent certain” Hudson is not in the state.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com

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