University buys condoms, lube and sexual enhancer drinks with state money; audited for misuse of funds

(THE PICKET) – Shepherd University spent state money on condoms, K-Y jelly, sexual enhancers and other items that could be deemed “for personal use” or “unallowable” according to an Oct. 18 state legislature audit.

The audit details a number of instances of alleged improper purchases by the university, including a December 2012 purchase by “RA Program” of 72 condoms, two tubes of K-Y jelly and sexual enhancer shots totaling nearly $57.

In an Oct.14 letter to the state legislature, Alan Perdue, Shepherd University’s counsel said the items were purchased in an effort to raise awareness about the practice of safe sex and that the distribution of these items is a common practice in higher learning institutions.

In their Oct. 18 response the state legislature noted that K-Y jelly and sexual enhancers are not used for protection but rather pleasure and that sexual enhancer shots have not been found in the audits of other higher learning institutions.

Other potential misuses of state money cited in the audit include the rental of a car despite the presence of state cars on campus, limousine services, a down payment on a two-bedroom town house and a wine tasting tour.

Some 27 percent of the purchases reviewed in the audit had not been properly approved, and 19 percent, totaling $323,000 had missing or no documentation, according the report released Sunday, Oct. 18, by the West Virginia Legislative Post Audit Division.

The audit concludes by stating that Shepherd must reform the way it approves purchases or it may lose the purchase card program through which it currently spends state money.

Perdue said the University planned to “fully address” its spending practices.

A breakdown of the questioned expenses and Perdue’s response is as follows:

  • More than $1,000 in meals, “The majority of which appeared to be personal,” according to the report.
  • Meals for athletics averaged $48 per meal. Perdue said a “comprehensive review and assessment” of athletic meals is underway.
  • A dinner for two at Hollywood Casino’s Final Cut Steakhouse in Charles Town, West Virginia for $95. Perdue said this was charged by former University President Suzanne Shipley and a visiting national scholar.
  • A sterling silver platter for $95. “Its current location is unknown,” the audit said. Perdue said that a “preliminary inquiry” revealed that the platter was for a music opera.
  • A car rental for one and a half months for $1,150.94. Perdue said the University considered rentals less expensive than using state vehicles. These charges were to the University Admissions Office, Perdue wrote.
  • Shuttle service from All Star Limousine for $372 from Dulles International Airport. Perdue said this was for visiting lecturers.
  • A down payment for a two-bedroom townhouse at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, Pa. for $380.41. Perdue said the town house was rented for golf team travel
  • A wine-tasting tour for 11 at Breaux Vineyards in Purcellville, Virginia. Perdue said the tour was for senior administrators with the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges Conference.
  • Expedited shipping on items. The purchase card holder “appeared to have no regard for the excessive amounts being charged to the state,” the report said.
  • Payment for two missing hotel pillows for $110. Perdue said the pillows were paid for by the coach of the men’s and women’s soccer team, and that the hotel “insists” that something was missing.
  • Two Shepherd employees were allowed to circumvent established purchase card transactions on three occasions by splitting one purchase from a vendor into two or more transactions, according to the audit. The total transactions included $6,444.97 at Best Buy; $11,344.24 and $9,177.77 at Weiss Brothers Industrial Supplies.

Perdue also explained that the purchase of crossword and Sudoku puzzles were for publication in The Picket; and Kindle buys were for Scarborough Library

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