Skip to comments.St. Johnís President Retires Amid Corruption Investigation
Posted on 05/06/2013 11:46:22 AM PDT by BlueDragon
The president of St. Johns University, Father Donald Harrington, will announce his retirement this afternoon. The news comes in the midst of an investigation into the conduct of both Harrington and his chief of staff, Rob Wile, after allegations of corruption and misuse of university finances. Wile will resign effective June 30, according to sources.
"The difficulties for everyone during the past year have convinced me, after much prayer and reflection, that the time to leave the presidency has now come," Harrington wrote in an internal communication to the St. Johns community.
The dual departures follow a series of New York Magazine stories detailing a web of undisclosed, interlocking business interests between Harrington and Wile. Particularly troubling to investigators was a real-estate venture partnership that was struck at the same time that Harrington recommended Wile for hundreds of thousands of dollars of no-interest loans from the university.
I read about this in the NY Post the other day. He was tied in with the finance director, Cecilia Chang, who embezzled over $1 million, used Chinese students as her personal slaves, and then hanged herself the day after being called to testify. I read - in Duh Post, of course - that Harrington had a wardrobe of some 40 handmade silk suits obtained for him by Cecilia Chang...
It’s cliche’ time! Mistakes were made, time to move on, the but for the grace......etc., etc.....
Both Wile and Harrington benefited from the generosity of Chang, who picked up the bill for vacations, expensive suits, and jewelry, and fraudulently passed the expenses along to the university. At one point, Wile signed off on her expense reports. "You dont see stuff like this except in corrupt companies," said Jeffrey Sonnenfield of Yale University, an expert in business governance.
The next paragraph goes on to speak of the perceived "good";
"...and New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly issued a statement praising him. Despite the continuing probe of irregularities, Kelly said, "I've witnessed with pride as Father Harrington strengthened St. John's academically and physically with new facilities and buildings, while holding fast to the Vincentian mission that has drawn so many of the University's alumni to public service."
Personally, I'm not sure what to think, but admit to being taken slightly aback by;
The hierarchy of the Catholic Church has also supported Harrington, and Cardinal Timothy Dolan today suggested that he would tap Harrington to continue his work for the Church. "I am delighted to learn that in his retirement Father Harrington will be available to the Church to continue to champion Catholic education," Dolan said in a statement. "I expect to call on him."
even as I have long recognized many otherwise talented people who can or do make positive(?) contributions, can be otherwise flawed, sometimes quite seriously.
things have gone downhill since i graduated from SJU in ‘86...oh well...
I was surprised by Cdl Dolan, too. Possibly he thinks that Harrington was just a dupe and was too trusting, but that hardly seems credible now.
I graduated from SJU in ‘91. Harrington was president then as well. No one should be president of one university as long as he was at the helm of SJU.
I take it neither of you are Hong Kong Chinese whom basically bought and paid for honorary degrees? Had to work for them, instead?
What does that school specialize in, anyway?
Nope, didn’t get the Hong Kong Chinese special treatment!
It’s a pretty middle-of-the-pack university with a liberal arts college, a business school, a pharmacy school, and a law school.
SJU actually has some terrific undergrad degrees....the biggie is the law school....