Audit reveals numerous violations by Chatt State president - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Audit reveals numerous violations by Chatt State president

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Chattanooga State President Jim Catanzaro has announced his retirement. Chattanooga State President Jim Catanzaro has announced his retirement.
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - An audit into Chattanooga State President Jim Catanzaro finds he made a number of serious violations.

The Tennessee Board of Regents released the detailed report Monday after months of investigations into allegations mainly centered around Catanzaro and the hiring of Lisa Haynes.

The 47-page audit goes into specific detail of all the violations Catanzaro made when he gave Lisa Haynes a top administrative position on campus.

The audit claims Catanzaro went against standard policy and “made-up” a hiring process to bring Haynes to campus.

It started in August 2013 when Haynes was brought on as a senior executive assistant. The audit found Catanzaro didn't check Haynes' unofficial transcript or follow procedure by requiring an official one. Haynes told auditors she was unaware she didn't have a Bachelor's Degree at the time.

Catanzaro also failed to verify the work experience listed on her resume. There was another lapse in procedure when Catanzaro never submitted Haynes to the TBR chancellor for approval.

Auditors believe these findings gave the impression that the president selected Haynes before any kind of search process even started.

Haynes traveled with Catanzaro for a number of meetings, some of where the audit found wasn't all business related.

The audit shows the pair racked up $23,000 worth of expenses. One trip to Barbados last December didn't include any scheduled meeting and happened at the same time Catanzaro took his annual vacation. Expenses from other trips failed to have the proper documentation.

Chattanooga State is a publicly funded institution.

Channel 3 reached out to the president for a statement, but he declined.

A spokesperson for Chattanooga State gave Channel 3 this statement, “The Chattanooga State faculty and staff will continue to focus on our most important mission: student success. Our fall semester has now ended, but our unwavering commitments to quality education remain strong, and we look forward to continue serving the needs of our community, the region and the state by providing business and industry a well-prepared workforce."

Catanzaro's 24 year term as president will end when he retires on December 31st.

TBR's Vice Chancellor of Community Colleges Dr. Warren Nichols will take over as interim president on January 1st.

Lisa Haynes is still employed by Chattanooga State but is on personal leave until January 17th.

Click on the document to see the full audit.
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