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Published: Thursday, 12/7/2006

OSU questioning work of treasurer


COLUMBUS, Ohio Ohio State University has hired auditors to review the work of its treasurer, who was placed on paid leave in October.

The university has found no evidence of fraud or misappropriation of funds, but actions taken by James Nichols appear to be at variance with accepted university policies, William Shkurti, Ohio State s senior vice president for business and finance, said Wednesday.

The review by auditors is expected to be completed in 30 to 60 days. Nichols, 62, has been the university s treasurer since 1981.

One action being scrutinized is Nichols failure to sell university-held stock in a timely manner, Shkurti said. That sale would have generated $3 million, he said.

Nichols lawyer, Larry James, said his client has done nothing wrong. Not selling university-held stock is a judgment call, James said.

At the end of the day, Jim Nichols career will not be tarnished in any way, shape, form or sense, James said. All the implications that might be assumed by a story like this won t pan out.

Nichols was one three people selected by Gov. Bob Taft to review investments at the scandal-scarred Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation.

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