Audit reveals former SU band director filed false invoices, used school funds for personal reasons
BATON ROUGE - A report conducted by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor says the former band director for Southern University misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars in public funds.
According to the audit, in 2014 Haymer contracted a third party, Active Network, LLC., to collect fees from participants in the SU Summer Band and Dance Team Camp. However, he did not have the authority from the university to do so. In August 2015, Haymer requested that Active stop sending those fees to the SU System Foundation and start sending all funds to him directly. From August 2015 through May 2018, Active made 35 wire transfers to Haymer's personal accounts. In total, $293,317 was sent to Haymer from Active.
The former band director is also accused of using false invoices to obtain $46,719 in reimbursement for money he did not spend. Haymer was given a travel advance by Southern to help pay for the Human Jukebox's meals when they traveled. Upon investigating, the auditors found dozens of false invoices filed by Haymer within that time frame including $7,400 for food in connection to the band's participation in the Krewe of Nyx parade. The SU System Foundation paid Haymer $44,816 without providing a legitimate receipt.
Additionally, the audit further confirms WBRZ Investigative Unit reports that Haymer took payments from Mardi Gras krewes to have the Human Jukebox perform at parades and other events. Email records show Haymer did not have any contracts for band performances or records that show he had the proper approval for the band to perform during these events. Bank statements show at least five performances for krewes in which Haymer was paid a total of $43,900. Those krewes were identified in the audit as Bacchus, Nyx, Poseidon, the Mystic Krewe of Femme Fatale and the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club.
Upon learning of his mishandling of school funds, Haymer was fired from Southern in May 2018.
In response to the audit, Southern University System President Ray L. Belton says they will monitor the activities of its organizations more closely and implement new policies for financial management. The university released a full statement Monday morning.
“Southern University is grateful to the Office of the Louisiana Legislative Auditor for its thorough audit of the questionable financial activities of the former director of bands. University officials referred this matter to that office for further investigation. We thank the Louisiana Legislative Auditor for acknowledging the university’s due diligence and assisting us in discerning the full extent of the loss. The university will continue to work with law enforcement and consult with counsel in order to recoup any funds that were diverted from the university.”
Haymer's attorneys also responded on his behalf saying they will not comment on the matter until the legal investigation is complete.
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