Former UA Employee Releases Book About Mishandling Of University Money

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- A former senior university relations official from the University of Arkansas has released a book titled “Please Delete.”

The book is an account of the mishandling of $4.2 million by the university`s fundraising division in 2012, and the audit, criminal investigation and legislative hearings that followed in 2013.

Author John Diamond was fired in August 2013, following meetings with university officials about their delayed response to media and auditor requests.

The records in question had to do with the mishandled money.

“The book sheds light on that, and shows the level of involvement and knowledge that existed. In many instances, information that has not yet been made public,” Diamond said.

Diamond said the book's title is based on the secrecy surrounding the situation.

"There were a series of emails over the course of months that were predicated by a title that said ‘please delete’ or ‘delete after reading’,” Diamond said.

Diamond added he requested thousands of pages of records, including emails and notes taken by the Washington County Prosecutor`s Office during the criminal investigation.

The investigation later concluded there was no criminal wrongdoing.

"In the book, I talk about the draft the prosecutor put together, which had more details than what actually appeared when the report was submitted,” Diamond said. “It included things that questioned the behavior of certain university officials.”

Diamond said he hopes his book will fill in gaps of the story, so readers can make their own decision about who should've been held accountable.

"I think the lesson to be learned from this book, is we have to make sure that we trust our public officials. But, we also [have to] verify what they say,” Diamond said.

Diamond testified against then-Chancellor G. David Gearhart during legislative hearings.

Diamond testified Gearhart had ordered destruction of financial documents.

Gearhart denied those claims, calling Diamond a “disgruntled former employee.”

In a report, the prosecutor's office concluded the shredding of documents was a cost-saving measure. It also stated they didn't find any evidence any documents were disposed of in order to obstruct the audio or information requests.

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