FSCJ terminates ex-president's contract


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida State College at Jacksonville Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to terminate former President Steven Wallace's contract with the school.

With the terminated contract comes some provisions. According to a board member, Wallace's pension will be a matter attorneys must deal with.

There is no word yet on whether Wallace will get the remainder of his pension.

FSCJ will begin its search for a new president in the fall.

The board member said the current interim president, Willis Holcombe, will probably not become the next president.

Last week, Florida's Inspector General found evidence of weak internal controls that allowed Wallace to use college foundation funds for travel without clear benefit to the college.

The investigation into allegations against Wallace began last year after former FSCJ employee Celine McArthur brought the professional misconduct to the attention of the state.

DOCUMENT: IG's final report on FSC Foundation

The report also recommends that the board of trustees and foundation's board of directors specifically approve donations to any organization where the college president or a senior college official serves in a leadership role. Wallace agreed to resign last fall, although his modified contract called for him to be paid nearly $1.2 million in pay and benefits over 18 months.

After a preliminary Inspector General report came out in December, the foundation's board of directors voted to require board approval of any unbudgeted expenditure over $1,000.

That change was made in the wake of an Inspector General's initial report on the college and its foundation that found financial irregularities, and questioned benefits paid to outgoing President Wallace and one of his vice presidents.

Last year, the college came under scrutiny for the compensation package of Wallace and one of his vice presidents. After an audit of the college was critical of its leadership structure, FSCJ's Board of Trustees ultimately eliminated the job of the controversial vice president and suspended four employees.

About the same time, the federal government demanded repayment of $4.7 million in Pell Grants to 1,300 students by mistake.