FAMU official fired after inquiry into investigation

Published September 2, 2006

TALLAHASSEE - Florida A&M University's interim inspector general was fired after an auditor's review concluded that he inappropriately handled an investigation involving top-level administrators.

Michael E. Brown, who was fired Thursday, had been on paid leave since June 15 after he began looking into an accusation that senior administrators, including interim president Castell Bryant, gave wrong information about the school's financial statements to an audit committee.

Marty Khan, the University of North Florida's auditing director, was asked to review the complaint. He said the accusations against administrators were untrue and that Brown pursued the complaint for personal reasons.

Brown's name is written as the complainant on the form, but he said in a letter to Khan that a former trustee actually filed the report.

"I have not been able to find that there was any basis for Mr. Brown's allegation in his complaint," Khan wrote in his report to Bryant.

Brown could not be reached for comment Thursday. He said in an Aug. 14 letter that he could not adequately respond to Khan's investigation because he wasn't allowed access to his files at FAMU.

In July a FAMU trustee, the Rev. R.B. Holmes of Tallahassee, asked Gov. Jeb Bush to investigate the reason for Brown's suspension, but a spokeswoman said Bush was unlikely to intervene.

"The governor has the full confidence in the presidents of the university system to take the appropriate decisions and make personnel actions," Bush's communications director, Alia Faraj, said then.