The probe by Great Bend attorney Allen Glenndenning has led to more issues at Dodge City Community College.
The investigation, which was handed to DCCC Board of Trustees a few months back, has a former administrator perhaps looking at criminal charges. Now, the department the former administrator ran has been told to repay $8,900 to the Carl Perkins federal grant fund after the investigation pointed to improper payments using the fund.
According to information from the community college, the Kansas Board of Regents investigated five separate trips to Colorado involving several faculty members and students. The five trips were from 2009 to 2015 and were listed as "Mountain Rescue Course."
The investigation resulted in KBOR requesting $8,900 in reimbursements from the college as some payments were made from the Carl Perkins federal grant fund incorrectly.
Workforce development at DCCC was in charge of the grant and how it was used. The investigation showed former administrator Danny Gillum was in charge at the time.
Gillum, who resigned as executive vice president in late October last year, spent more than 20 years employed at the college. At the time of his resignation, neither he nor DCCC president Harold Nolte would go in to why the board asked for his resignation and why Gillum agreed.
Since then the college ordered an audit and asked Glenndenning to conduct an investigation. The lawyer presented his findings at a recent trustees meeting and some results were presented to the Ford County Attorney’s Office for possible criminal charges.
At the time, Gillum’s name was not used, but with the release of the KBOR investigation, Gillum’s name is listed prominently.
An attempt to contact Gillum was unsuccessful. He issued a statement asking the Daily Globe to contact his attorney for any information or comment. His attorney, Mike Giardine of Gray County, returned a call and released a statement after consulting with Gillum. Here is that statement:
"Danny Gillum is innocent of any and all improprieties alleged or inferred in the report issued by DCCC. The only thing Danny can be found guilty of in this matter is pouring his heart and soul into improving the lives of students and faculty and the quality of education during his tenure at DCCC.
"This investigation is the fruition of a smear campaign initiated and orchestrated by Harold Nolte and his acolytes following the retirement of then President Woodburn and the subsequent implosion of the nursing program at DCCC. At the time of Dr. Woodburn’s retirement, an overwhelming majority of the staff and administration recommended Danny Gillum be named DCCC President due to his tireless and selfless dedication to the students and faculty of Dodge City Community College.
"As such, the ‘findings’ of this witch hunt are not a fair and unbiased representation of activities on the campus. Instead of hiring an independent investigator as requested by members of the board of trustees, DCCC hired an attorney tasked solely with developing facts to infer impropriety on the part of Danny Gillum.
"As you will see in the ‘findings,’ the only allegation lodged against Danny Gillum is that he approved expenditures for school-related activities after the activities had already taken place. However, in 13 years working with and administering the Perkins Grant program, Danny Gillum has never been cited for or found to be in violation of use of Perkins funds. Additionally, Danny Gillum has at all times been accountable to and complied with the internal controls set in place to govern the Perkins Grant and the DCCC business office which ultimately approves or denies the expenditures. All expenditures at issue in this report were approved by DCCC administration when submitted for approval by Danny Gillum.
"Mr. Gillum looks forward to the opportunity to present evidence and testimony to a fair and unbiased trier of fact. Danny Gillum has always worked for the betterment of DCCC and is heartbroken that the current administration does not share the same goal."
A former DCCC employee who denies any improper doings is Ronda Weil, the former technical recruiter for the college. Weil and her son, Justin Weil, a welding instructor at the college, both went on the first trip in 2009 with Gillum.
"We were told we could use the class for professional development so we went," Ronda said on Monday morning. "Justin went because he was the only welding instructor who could.
"It was harvest time and many couldn’t go for that reason, so they asked him to do it because they were thinking of expanding the welding program to include wind machines."
Pete Weil, a candidate for the board of trustees in the November election, joined his wife in suggesting there was more to their names being used.
"That trip was 2009 and it just happened to include my wife and son," Weil said. "That’s a heck of a coincidence. That’s an attack on the whole family."
The Weils confirmed they are related to Gillum, with Ronda stating, "He’s married to my sister."
Nolte, when reached by phone on Monday, denied any conspiracy or attempt to hurt the family.
"I was shocked to see the names listed," the president said. "There is no conspiracy or attempt to ‘get’ anybody.
"The investigation was done by an outside party."
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