Prosecutor's Report Confirms Pederson's Actions, Determines No Wrongdoing
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – In a six-page letter to a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives, the deputy prosecuting attorney for the 4th Judicial District, David G. Bercaw, determined that Don Pederson, vice chancellor for finance and administration of the University of Arkansas, did not make false representations to the Legislative Audit in his execution of the Management Representation Letter on Oct. 25, 2012, as part of the regular Fiscal Year 2011-2012 Audit.
A state legislator had requested on Dec. 18, 2013, that the Washington County Office of the Prosecuting Attorney look into the matter of whether Pederson provided a false document or statement to the Legislative Audit Committee in October 2012. After a thorough investigation of the matter, the prosecutor’s office determined there was no wrongdoing by Pederson.
“I appreciate the careful attention to this matter made by the prosecuting attorney’s office and agree completely with the findings of this review. The report speaks for itself,” said Pederson, who has led the university’s division of finance and administration for nearly 16 years.
The issue was raised in the aftermath of a budget deficit in the U of A Division of University Advancement. That deficit has since been eliminated by using university reserves – the balance of which will be repaid by the Advancement Division. An outcome of the deficit was the development of additional financial accountability measures that have been put into place across the university, strengthening its system of checks and balances.
“We are most appreciative of the due diligence by Mr. Bercaw that led to this outcome,” said U of A Chancellor G. David Gearhart. “We believe this is the appropriate conclusion. At this point, we are actively engaged in moving forward toward our goal of being nationally recognized as a top 50 public research university and planning our next capital campaign.”
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