BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Attorneys for the ousted Southern University band director are responding to a state audit that claims he mishandled hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Attorneys for the former SU band director, Nathan Haymer, call the audit a "rush to judgment." They also say the audit doesn't show the whole picture.
This internal investigation sifts through thousands of emails and bank statements dating all the way back to January 1, 2015. The audit questions how Haymer managed the band's money. The school claims Haymer deposited more than $300,000 in fees associated with band camps and Dancing Doll tryouts into his personal accounts and mismanaged the funds.
As of July 2018, the audit says $74,033 of the $300,459 had been accounted for, but the school is now wondering where the rest of the $226,426 went.
Haymer's lawyer says the money was not mismanaged and the remaining balance can be accounted for through checks and bank statements from 2014 to 2016, which they plan on handing over to the auditor. The attorney admits that while unorthodox, his client was doing as he was told by supervisors by depositing checks written out to him into his personal accounts.
"Mr. Haymer, who has had seven supervisors in four years, has not been provided with the protocol on how to handle the finances. And what he has done, he has done because he was told to deposit these funds in his personal account and essentially run the finances of the band through his personal account," said Karl Bernard, one of Haymer's attorneys.
Haymer's lawyers say he was routinely issued checks amounting to around $25,000. He says while his client questioned the method, he was told that was how the university managed the funds for years prior to his hiring.
Attorney Winston DeCuir Jr., who represents SU, released a statement Friday afternoon. The full statement reads:
Bernard says they plan to present this new information to the Southern University Board of Supervisors at their next meeting on August 24. They also plan to ask that Haymer be reconsidered as an employee.
"What we're hoping the board will do, the president will do as well, is to reconsider their position and Mr. Haymer. I'll go on record in saying he loves Southern so much that he would even welcome disciplinary action because he recognizes that the accounting methods used were unorthodox."