July 26, 2007
By Tom Bosco
A former Ohio University employee made restitution to the university today, paying back more than $31,000 owed as a result of misusing his purchasing card and misappropriating funds.
Robert Andrey pleaded guilty today in Athens County Common Pleas Court to one count of theft in office, a fourth-degree felony. He will be sentenced Sept. 20. Terms of the plea agreement stipulate that he will avoid jail time and serve five years' probation.
Andrey resigned as associate athletics director for business and internal operations effective June 30. Today, he gave the university a certified check for $31,075.82 in restitution. He made no statements in court and was released on his own recognizance.
On June 6, the university's Internal Audit Office received an anonymous tip through its ethics Web site that Andrey may have misused his p-card. The Internal Audit office began an immediate investigation and on June 18 brought preliminary findings to Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt. Those findings were turned over to the Ohio University Police Department, which investigated.
The investigation found evidence that Andrey had misappropriated funds generated by parking fees on game days and falsified documents related to those funds. Investigators also discovered that he forged Hocutt's signature on purchasing request documents. It's unclear what Andrey used the money to purchase, OUPD investigators said.
"I and my colleagues in the Athletics Department are shocked and saddened by Mr. Andrey's behavior," Hocutt said. "These actions do not reflect the high standards of our department, and we will not tolerate this kind of behavior. I am grateful that someone reported this. I also appreciate the efficient and professional way in which the Internal Audit Office and the OU Police Department conducted their investigations."
The university's ethics reporting site has been in place since February 2006. President Roderick J. McDavis and members of the Board of Trustees wanted to create an effective tool for the university community to bring problems to light, particularly anything involving financial misconduct.