Todd: ‘I feel I have done nothing wrong’

Ashlee Clark

Student Government Association members faced a camera on Tuesday evening for their annual picture.

Less than an hour later, Nick Todd for the first time publicly faced allegations of financial impropriety that may threaten his status as SGA’s next leader.

Todd, SGA’s president-elect and vice president of finance, on Tuesday denied through a statement any wrongdoing in connection with the reported impropriety.

Earlier the same day, the investigation into the misuse of SGA funds was turned over by the student activities office to campus police, the internal auditor and student judicial affairs.

“At this time, I feel I have done nothing wrong,” Todd read during Tuesday’s SGA meeting. “I have carried out my duties as SGA vice president of finance with the utmost level of honesty and integrity, to the best of my ability.”

More than $600 from an SGA Dining Dollars account has reportedly been misused, according to an SGA press release.

SGA adviser Charley Pride, who initially led the investigation, said that amount may now be as much as $1,000.

“We’re looking at each one of the purchases to make sure it was for an event,” Pride said.

More SGA accounts are also being reviewed, Pride said.

Todd remains the only suspect, Pride said.

Todd said during the SGA meeting that “very serious allegations” have been made against him by his “political rivals.”

He said he is looking forward to continuing his current duties as vice president of finance and his impending role as SGA president.

He is expected to take office on Tuesday.

The reported impropriety was discovered on Friday, the SGA press release said. Western administrators were notified immediately.

The reported misuses in the SGA Dining Dollars account were made in purchases of less than $5 each, SGA President John Bradley said.

The student activities office is still reviewing all SGA account records and will pass on any information discovered to campus police, the internal auditor and student judicial affairs, he said.

Todd said in his statement that he looks forward to explaining himself under the university’s governing policy. He said he and his attorney will have a more detailed statement at that time.

Campus police Capt. Mike Wallace said their investigation division has been given “initial, preliminary information” about the reported impropriety.

There is no deadline for the completion of the police investigation, Wallace said.

Wallace said to his knowledge no police report has been filed.

There will be interviews to gather information that relates to a possible violation of university policy, said Student Life dean Howard Bailey, who will be leading the judicial affairs investigation.

Bailey said much of his investigation will be dependent on what is found by the internal auditor.

University Internal Auditor Warren Irons said his office began reviewing SGA records on Tuesday to see if funds were “properly authorized and spent.”

The internal auditors’ office’s investigation may be completed within a week.

The SGA judicial council ruled on Monday that Todd could not be impeached by SGA until next semester because of time constraints.

The judicial council will meet tonight and has asked Todd to attend.

Aramark gave SGA $5,000 at the beginning of the academic year for the Dining Dollars account as part of a contract, Bradley said. It is meant to be used to purchase food for SGA events.

Any SGA member could use the Dining Dollars account, but only Pride, Bradley and Todd had cards to access the funds, Bradley said.

There is now $1,200 remaining, Bradley said.

Reach Ashlee Clark at [email protected]