LETTER: Independent investigation needed at SMC

Published 8:50 am Friday, February 1, 2019

I’m thrilled that former Governor Snyder signed PA 512 into legislation and takes SMC off the hook for $10 million dollars of fines and penalties for unpaid MPSERS funds.

I’m also thrilled that the SMC president has withdrawn his unnecessary lawsuit against the State, which was filed to repress the Office of the Auditor General, Audit Report and wasted more than $125,000 of our tax dollars.

The OAG Audit Report, concluded that David Mathews falsified documents to the State of Michigan.  SMC internal emails obtained during the audit show the president was informed by Cabinet members that the college must make part-time student MPSERS payments.  This makes the document falsification intentional and criminal.  Yet, the president says that this is “all behind us now.”  The facts indicate, that it’s just the beginning.

Dr. Mathews said, “(The) Auditor General, as a matter of law, doesn’t have authority outside of state agencies.”  Dr. Mathews has offered his opinion but the result of the lawsuit was a Michigan Circuit Court ruling that the OAG, does in fact have that authority.  And the OAG Investigative Conclusions states that he knowingly falsified documents, thereby committing a crime.

It is the responsibility of the Board of Trustees to openly address this serious accusation, leveled by the state Auditor General. Several community members, including myself, as well as an SMC employee, have publicly asked for an independent, internal investigation.  I ask for one again.  If a member of the president’s staff had falsified documents to the state, I contend that the president would have investigated and fired that person.  There must be accountability, transparency and equity with matters of public trust. The obligation of the trustees is to the institution and the community, not to the Mathews family name.

Tom Buszek