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Published: Saturday, 12/2/2006

Ex-employee for BGSU faces multiple theft charges

BOWLING GREEN - Bowling Green State University police arrested a former employee yesterday for allegedly stealing more than $100,000 from the school, a university spokesman said.

Michael McHugh is charged with one count of aggravated theft and two counts of theft in office. He managed the BGSU-funded Northwest Ohio Regional Book Depository in Perrysburg, controlling an annual budget that reached $500,000.

"The university does operate on a basis of trust, and we feel like we've been betrayed," said Kim McBroom, BGSU's associate vice president of marketing and communications.

BGSU and Perrysburg police began investigating Mr. McHugh after an Oct. 18 call from university employees. A day later, the university suspended him as depository manager.

The university fired Mr. McHugh on Nov. 2, citing misuse of public funds.

A former BGSU graduate student in American culture studies, Mr. McHugh, 43, was the first and only manager of the depository. He held the job since 1995 and it paid $48,351 a year.

Police took Mr. McHugh into custody about noon yesterday. The case has been referred to the Wood County prosecutor.

The amount of the alleged theft is being determined, but Ms. McBroom indicated that it exceeds $100,000.

The temperature-controlled depository was designed to house nearly 2 million books and other materials rarely checked out from the BGSU and University of Toledo libraries.

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