Missing equipment at MHCC leads to investigation - KPTV - FOX 12

Missing equipment at MHCC leads to investigation

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SALEM, OR (KPTV) -

Mt. Hood Community College is facing an investigation by the Secretary of State after the wilderness leadership program reported missing equipment and had questionable reimbursements.

MHCC had already initiated an internal investigation, but asked the Secretary of State's Audit's Division for help.

Using MHCC purchase records, auditors found about $13,000 in equipment had gone missing from campus.

Among those missing purchases, about $1,500 appeared to match personal gear requested by students, but the college did not get paid for those purchases even after emails were sent out to students that they may have to reimburse instructors.

Auditors also found travel and purchase reimbursements that were higher than they were supposed to be and that appeared to contradict policies. Those claims also didn't have many details, gave personal reward benefits that may violate state policies and paid to instructors with a MHCC credit card.

Secretary of State Kate Brown has also submitted the report to the Oregon Government Ethics Commission for possible ethics violations.

"I appreciate the college's cooperation with this investigation. Everyone involved cares very much about accounting for every taxpayer dollar," Brown said. "With these recommendations implemented and strong oversight by college administration, we expect this won't happen again."

In addition to issues in the one program, there were allegations about faculty or administrative staff complaints not being handled in timely manner. 

Auditors recommended MHCC develop or update policies over inventory, purchase card use, travel reimbursement and grant reimbursements. In addition, auditors recommend maintaining a central listing of faculty and staff complaints and the actions taken.

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