SMITHFIELD – An audit and separate independent investigation are in the process of being conducted at Johnston Community College in Smithfield. College officials declined to comment, however sources tell The Johnston County Report the audit is underway and an in-depth investigation will be launched very soon.
According to the sources, numerous allegations have been made in recent months to JCC administrators and the Board of Trustees, however none of the allegations could be immediately verified. Due to the nature of some of the allegations an outside firm has been requested to investigate.
The allegations include one or more JCC administrators failing to follow written policy and procedures, including the promotion process. Another allegation involves bullying by one official, and mismanagement of the budget. One email sent to The Johnston County Report said there was a “culture” of mismanagement and “incompetent administrators” who are protected even after complaints are made by lower-level staff.
One allegation involved an administrator who was told not to approve any additional salary increases due to budget constraints. Instead of complying, the administrator allegedly gave the employee a promotion to a new position that automatically came with a higher salary.
There were so many allegations of internal issues that it got the attention of the JCC Board of Trustees. None of the allegations we are told involve fraud or embezzlement.
We were able to confirm that administrators at Johnston Community College are no longer able to make promotions without Board of Trustee approval. Also, employee contract non-renewals must go before the college attorney.
Lyn Austin, Chair of the JCC Board of Trustees did not respond to our email request for a comment.
JCC President Dr. David Johnson declined to comment, referring all questions to Gordon Woodruff, the attorney for Johnston Community College.
Mr. Woodruff said Tuesday, “The Board of Trustees has received information which it is looking into. There is no set time frame for the process because it has just begun the review. At the present time there is no information to share. It is really just getting started.”
Woodruff would not be specific on what the investigation and audit would cover. “There is varying information that has come in. I am not privy to what you have received. I cannot comment on what you have been told. The Board is in the process of going through that and putting all that together.”
An outside law firm is expected to be hired as early as September to conduct the internal investigation.