Former Southern University band director Nathan Haymer pocketed more than $293,000 in public funds over a three-year period, according to a report made public today from Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera’s office, possibly violating state and federal laws in the process.
Haymer—a 2017 Forty Under 40 alumnus—contracted with an unauthorized third party to collect public funds due to the university, keeping $293,317 between July 2015 and June 2018, according to a summary attached to the 45-page review, while the Southern University System Foundation received $84,708 from the collections between January and July 2015.
It appears Haymer set up the collection system without SU’s approval, says Purpera, using some of the dollars for personal purposes.
The former band director also apparently submitted false invoices to obtain nearly $47,000 in reimbursements for expenses he did not incur, the report says, with Haymer receiving related payments from SU, the SU System Foundation and the SU Alumni Federation.
Finally, the report says Haymer got $43,900 in payments from Mardi Gras krewes for band performances during parades and other events from February 2015 to February 2018—a potential violation of state law, says Purpera, because Haymer was a university employee taking the money on top of his salary.
In an attached response to the audit’s findings, SU President and Chancellor Ray Belton and Board of Supervisors chair Domoine Rutledge say the university has taken steps to prevent a similar situation from happening again, some of which include:
Request the SU System Foundation provide a weekly summary schedule of all accounts holding funds for designated units, showing expenditures and revenues made on behalf of those units;
• Conduct a campus wide survey relative to summer camps to ensure other university summer camp revenue is being properly accounted for and deposited;
• Establish a credit/debit card policy and procedure in order to reduce the amount of cash necessary for travel advances for large student groups
• Meanwhile, Haymer declined to provide a written response to the allegations.
The audit comes almost a year after the SU Board of Supervisors voted in August to uphold Haymer’s firing the previous May.