Audit finds WSU may have violated federal grant rules

first_imgPULLMAN — A state audit has found that Washington State University may have violated federal rules when it used about $17,000 from a grant to pay salaries and benefits for two employees who had little to no involvement in the projects.The Seattle Times reports the WSU professor who blew the whistle is concerned the school’s grant funding could be in jeopardy.The issue was raised by Norman Lewis, a professor in WSU’s Institute of Biological Chemistry.The auditor’s office found that one employee did no work on the NASA project, but was being paid from that fund. Another employee worked at a lesser percentage than was being charged to the grant.Officials for Washington State University say the auditor’s report presented “an inaccurate and incomplete context of the situation.”School officials say Lewis was told that if the two employees weren’t moved to federal grant work they might be laid off.Lewis was “repeatedly instructed to address the funding concerns but has repeatedly failed to respond and did not take appropriate corrective action,” WSU spokesman Phil Weiler told the newspaper.Lewis disputed those arguments.He was granted whistleblower status by the state as part of the investigation, meaning he cannot suffer retaliation for providing information to the auditor.last_img read more

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