News Local/State

Illinois Higher Ed Chief Forced To Quit In 2012 Over Misuse Of Funds


A just-released investigation by Illinois' Inspector General's office found that the former head of the state board of higher education, George Reid, abused public resources and wasted state funds, amongst other findings.

When the State Board of Higher Education announced in he was stepping down as its director after only 18 months, a press release stated that it was for "personal reasons." Reid supposedly wanted more time with his family.

In fact, the Office of Executive Inspector General found that he had been forced to resign, or face getting fired.

The report details that the board of higher ed choose Reid after a national search, despite his been forced out as President of Kentucky State University.

At least one board members' reservations about Reid quickly came true once he got to Illinois - investigators say employees considered him rude, causing some to leave themselves.

And then there's the misuse of state funds.

"His contract said he would not have a state car, as part of his compensation package, but there was a state car at the board and he was commandeering that car for extended periods of time, with no explanation of why he needed it for work," said Inspector General spokesman David Morrison.

That action forced other workers to rent a car, costing taxpayers thousands of dollars. The report says that should have been reason enough to fire him -- freeing the state from any further obligations.

Instead, the board gave Reid an extra three months’ parting salary - $48,000 for which he did no work.