An independent investigation commissioned by the Dodge City Community College Board of Trustees in 2017 has resulted in a felony fraud charge against former Executive Vice President Danny Gillum.
 
The results of that report were forwarded to the Kansas Attorney General’s office. According to a complaint filed Wednesday by Assistant Attorney General Paul E. Brothers, prosecutor in the fraud and abuse litigation division, long-time instructor and former administrator Gillum “knowingly provided Dodge City Community College with false credentials for his wife Rene Gillum to ensure she remained employed by Dodge City Community College.”
 
The charge was filed in Ford County District Court. Gillum is charged with making false information, a Level 8, nonperson felony. The charge carries a potential sentence of 7 to 19 months, but according to state sentence guidelines, a conviction typically results in probation.
 
According to Ford County Sheriff Bill Carr, Gillum was arrested Wednesday about 5 pm. Gillum was fingerprinted and released, but bond details were not provided.
 
Gillum currently serves as the interim emergency manager for Ford County, a position he was appointed to by a unanimous vote by the Ford County Board of Commissioners just last week.
 
County administrator JD Gilbert said Thursday that Ford County had no comment on matters regarding Gillum or his continued employment with the county at this time.
 
In February of 2017, the Dodge City Community College Board of Trustees hired attorney Allen Glenndenning to conduct an independent investigation of possible fraud by misuse of college funds, property and/or equipment.
 
“The investigation was initiated by the board based upon information received from the college auditors following the resignation of Executive Vice President Danny Gillum,” a release issued with the investigation summary said.
 
Prior to 2015, Gillum had been with the college for more than 20 years and had previously taught several guided studies or adjunct classes including Terrorism, First Aid, Outdoor First Aid, Outdoor Survival and Wilderness Medicine at DCCC.
 
Gillum’s Colorado-based “Mountain Rescue Course” was the subject of a Kansas Board of Regents investigation that resulted in KBOR requesting a repayment of $8,900 from DCCC for improper use of federal Carl Perkins grant funds.
 
Workforce Development at DCCC disbursed grant money from those funds and approved how it was used. The investigation showed Gillum was in charge of that department at the time.
 
At the time the KBOR investigation was released, Gillum’s attorney Michael J. Giardine in a statement called the DCCC investigation a “witch hunt” orchestrated by the DCCC President Dr. Harold Nolte.
 
Giardine’s statement said that after the retirement of Pres. Don Woodburn, Nolte and his “acolytes” initiated a “smear campaign” against Gillum.
 
According to the statement, at the time of 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.”

Giardine did respond to multiple requests for return calls Thursday.

According to the Glendenning report, following his promotion to vice president Gillum was no longer able to teach the classes. Gillum said that he spoke with then-President Woodburn about hiring his wife Rene to teach the classes. Gillum said Woodburn informed him that if she was certified he could move forward.
 
When contacted by Glenndenning, Woodburn stated he had no recollection of the conversation but did suggest it could have happened.
 
The report says Rene Gillum received $92,900 for teaching classes during parts of 2014, 2015, and 2016. In accordance with guidelines set by the Higher Learning Commission, she was required to have at least a master’s degree to teach, but according to the report, Rene Gillum does not hold a master’s nor a bachelor’s degree.
 
The report continued on to state that when questions about Rene Gillum’s certification were raised Danny Gillum filled out some cards and submitted them as proof of certification. These cards were found to be “made up” by Danny Gillum.
 
Jennifer Montgomery, public information officer for the Kansas Attorney General’s Office, said Gillum’s first appearance is scheduled for March 15 at 1 p.m. at the Ford County District Court. As of Thursday afternoon, Montgomery said no other charges have been filed in the case.

To contact the writer email sedger@dodgeglobe.com