Alarmed by an audit critical of the University of California, a half-dozen Republican Assembly members called Tuesday for the Legislature to issue subpoenas for records as part of an independent forensic audit to determine whether the mishandling of UC resources broke any laws.
The lawmakers sent a letter to the Assembly Rules Committee seeking an independent investigation a week after a state audit alleged the University of California failed to tell the public or lawmakers that it had $175 million in reserve funds and was paying excessive salaries and benefits to UC managers.
“California students have faced rising tuition costs and unfair competition from out-of-state students for years,” the letter said. “These students deserve better than $175 million in undisclosed funds, excessive administrative costs, increased tuition and fees and weak budget controls.”
The letter also said the lawmakers are “extremely troubled by the [university’s office of the president’s] interference and possible tampering with the audit process.”
The letter is signed by Republican Assembly members Catharine Baker of San Ramon, Kevin Kiley of Rocklin, Dante Acosta of Santa Clarita, Jay Obernolte of Big Bear, Steven Choi of Irvine and Randy Voepel of Santee.
University of California President Janet Napolitano has said the audit was incorrect and that there is only $38 million in reserve funds, with the rest committed to programs to improve the 10-campus system.
Still, the lawmakers said documents they want subpoenaed include account records, invoices, draft budget records and all correspondence regarding the $175-million fund.
“Bringing these documents out in the open will allow the Legislature, auditor and the general public to judge accurately the actions of the [president’s office] and gauge whether or not criminal activity has taken place,” the letter said.
Senate leader Kevin de León, flanked by colleagues and workers, launches his push for 100% renewable energy at a solar farm in Davis on Tuesday. May Day march in Sacramento 2017