U of I Bands Director Quits Amid Investigation

August 23, 2013

The University of Illinois' director of bands has resigned amid an investigation into the sale of more than $50,000 worth of school musical instruments.

U of I Spokeswoman Robin Kaler said Robert Rumbelow resigned Thursday, but declined further comment.

A combined investigation between U of I Police and the Audits Office indicates that Rumbelow sold the instruments to other schools and collectors between 2011 and 2013. The procees of those sales were combined in Rumelows' personal accounts.

University police say Rumbelow sold instruments and deposited the money into two personal accounts between 2011 and 2013. Police say there are discrepancies in inventory lists as part of a trade-in program designed to allow the university to trade-in old instruments and get credit toward new ones. 

U of I Police Lietenant Matt Myrick said a report was made to the universty ethics office in mid-June, which passed the information on to the Office of Audits.

"It did appear there some appropriation of funds, and some instruments that had been sold, and the proceeds placed in Mr. Rumbelow's personal accounts," he said.

According to the report, 76 instruments appear to be missing and some of them on the inventory list were declared as having "zero value," even though they were sold by Rumbelow using eBay and through other contacts.      

Rumbelow admitted that he had sold most of the instruments and said that he was going to return the money to the band department.  He recently paid the U of I $86,000 as part of his resignation.

The investigation also turned up questionable purchases made on Rumbelow's "P-card" - a U of I credit card intended for official purchases only.

Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Reitz said Rumbelow has not been charged with a crime. Her office is still going through the case after receiving it this week. However, U of I Police say Rumbelow has been issued a notice to appear in court for theft over $10,000, and he is due to appear in court on Sept. 24. 

A message left for Rumbelow's attorney, Dan Jackson, wasn't immediately returned. But Jackson told The News-Gazette that Rumbelow planned to use the money to study the feasibility of creating a new band building.

Story source: AP