6 Howard University employees fired after funds misused in financial aid office

Howard U. president responds to allegations school funds were misappropriated to employees (ABC7)

In response to a whistleblower’s anonymous article that trended online, Howard University responded on Wednesday to claims that hundreds of thousands of dollars were misappropriated in the university’s financial aid office.

School president Wayne Frederick admits that an internal investigation found that university grants were given to some university employees on top of their tuition remission or reductions, from 2007-16.

“I’m heartbroken,” said Jessica Brown, who is a Howard alumna and a former employee in the financial aid office. “You have students who dream about going to Howard, whose families risk everything.”

It's now known that in September, six employees were fired as a result of the discovery.

In a phone interview, Dr. Frederick says he kept quiet because he did not want to tip off the employees being investigated.

“I didn’t want to compromise the investigation,” Frederick said. “Any dollar that does not go to a student appropriately in need is something that I take great umbrage with.”

“Some people are calling for your resignation. What do have to say about that?" asked ABC7’s Anna-Lysa Gayle.

“I think that’s a fair question to ask,” responded Frederick. “I feel that I directed my team to take the appropriate action.”

A spokeswoman from Howard University also answered the following questions by email:

Q: Are you able to provide the names of the employees who were fired?

A: As a matter of protocol, Howard does not release private employee information.

Q: Are they facing any charges?

A: An investigation of individual employee actions was completed in September 2017 and as a result, six employees have been terminated for gross misconduct and neglect of duties. We will refer this matter for criminal prosecution, as appropriate.

Q: Also, what was the amount in question?

A: We don’t have a final amount but we are working with our outside experts to ensure every dollar is accounted for and the University will exercise all of our options to recoup the funds.

A man accused of embezzling funds from the university's financial aid department, Tyrone Hankerson Jr., released the following statement through his attorney to ABC News:

Frederick met with student leaders on Wednesday night.

He later issued the following statement:

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