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Audit Faults SUNY’s Research Arm for Misspent Money and Lax Oversight

Officials with the State University of New York’s research foundation misused taxpayer money by charging personal expenses on foundation credit cards and handing out contracts with little oversight, according to an audit released on Monday by the state comptroller’s office. One former official at Buffalo State College was cited for spending some $22,000 on hockey tickets, and other expenses including a birthday party for his wife, chocolates, and groceries. The foundation fired that official last February. “The foundation needs to recover all misspent funds immediately and fundamentally change how it operates,” said Thomas P. DiNapoli, the comptroller, in a news release. John J. O’Connor, the foundation’s former president, resigned last year in the wake of allegations that he had given a “no show” job to the daughter of a former State Senate majority leader. Timothy L. Killeen, who was selected in May to fill Mr. O’Connor’s post, said in a written statement cited by The Journal News that the audit was “the right thing” for the foundation.

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