Convicted felon and former U Louisville ed school dean Robert Felner to be released from federal prison today

by E Wayne Ross on May 12, 2014

Robert Felner, former dean of the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Louisville and convicted felon, is schedule to be release from federal prison today.

Felner was sentenced to 63 months in prison for his role in defrauding the U of L and the University of Rhode Island of $2.3 million of US Department of Education funds earmarked for No Child Left Behind Act research.

The U of L reported suspected fraud to federal officials and, in June 2008, on Felner’s last day of work at U of L, federal officers conducted simultaneous raids on the U of L College of Education and Human Development and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, where Felner had accepted the presidency and was in the process of moving. The investigation involved the US Secret Service, US Postal Inspection Service and the Internal Revenue Service.

In January 2010, Felner pleaded guilty to nine Federal charges, including income tax evasion.

For a refresher course on the felonious Felner see’ summary of events. For a full course of Felner on PageOneKentucky click here. (Shout out to Jake at PageOneKentucky for excellent investigative reporting on Felner and the U of L.)

For Workplace Blog coverage of Felner click here.

Here is a Louisville Courier-Journal profile of Felner: Robert Felner profile: Arrogant, outrageous, abusive and duplicitous.

A couple of footnotes to the Felner Story:

(1) Los Angeles school superintendent, John Deasy, has had his academic credentials called into question. Deasy was given a PhD by the University of Louisville after he was enrolled for four months and received a total of nine credits. Deasy’s doctoral advisor was Robert Felner. Deasy had previously awarded $375,000 in consulting contracts to Felner, while Deasy was Superintendent of Santa Monica schools.

(2) U of L has been making double retirement payouts to administrators for their silence.

Records show that the school paid a full year’s salary to outgoing vice presidents Michael Curtin ($252,350) and Larry Owsley ($248,255) and to assistant to the president Vivian Hibbs ($66,391) to induce them not to “disparage, demean or impugn the university or its senior leadership.”

And last month U of L made a $346,000.00 settlement with Angela Kosawha:

The University of Louisville is paying another large settlement in connection with the retirement of a high-ranking official — this time, $346,844 to its top lawyer. University counsel Angela Koshewa is on a three-month leave of absence before she officially retires June 1. Documents obtained under the Kentucky Open Records Act show the university is paying Koshewa — who has questioned some expenditures and proposals backed by President James Ramsey and Dr. David Dunn, the executive vice president for Health Affairs — twice her final salary.

Current U of L President James Ramsey and Provost Shirley Willihnganz are the same campus officials who hired Robert Felner, and defended him when he was initially charged with defrauding the university.