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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Former FAMU official indicted



The former director of FAMU's Institute on Urban Policy and Commerce was indicted on federal theft and fraud charges today, along with the former director of literacy programs in Franklin County.

Patricia Walker McGill, 60, of Tallahassee was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit theft from federal programs and mail fraud, seven counts of theft from federal programs relating to educational grants and 13 counts of mail fraud, according to a statement released this afternoon by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Florida. Bonnie Segree, 68, of Eastpoint, was charged with eight counts, the statement said.

Among other allegations, the indictment says the pair "stole, embezzled, misapplied, or converted to their own use and to the use of others not entitled thereto, funds provided by the United States Department of Education through the Florida Department of Education for educational literacy grants."

It also says McGill "required certain educational grant recipients to kick back portions of the grant monies to the defendants and disguise the monies paid to the defendants as ‘consulting' fees for the grants and would require the recipients to falsely report that the grant monies were earned for work related to the grants."

Former interim FAMU President Castell Bryant fired McGill in May 2005, saying the decision was based on findings from a payroll audit. Today's statement from the U.S. attorney's office says the investigation began two years ago.

McGill faces up to 350 years in prison and $5.25-million in fines. Segree faces up to 140 years in prison and $2 million in fines. Both were arrested this morning and will be scheduled for trial in Panama City before U.S. District Judge Richard Smoak. To read more about the indictment, click here. To read the indictment, click here.

- Ron Matus, state education reporter

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:35am]


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