The Democrat-Gazette’s Debra Hale-Shelton provided a little more insight this morning into past Grand Jury investigations into the University of Central Arkansas during the era of President Lu Hardin. The lead today was news of testimony months ago by a former employee of Combs and Co. State auditors long ago raised questions about possible diversion of money paid to Combs to salary supplements for the football coach, a discovery that led to the departure of a UCA official.
I’d add this from the record: I reported last March that the head of the ad agency, Ben Combs, unavailable for comment to Hale-Shelton yesterday, had been interviewed by the U.S. attorney’s office, but not the grand jury, in the matter. He indicated in March he’d spoken with them voluntarily and freely.
At this point there’s still no confirmation that any continuing investigation in which Hardin has agreed to cooperate concerns the the coach pay deal or something as yet unknown.