An Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center employee wrongly accepted $4,901 in meals from an employee of a university vendor who later went to work for the school, according to a state investigation.
Shawn Brown improperly accepted meals from Matt Daugherty, a former branch manager for Accu-Tech Corp., between early 2009 and early 2012, according to a report released this week by Inspector General Randall J. Meyer.
Daugherty, who left Accu-Tech in early 2012 to work as an $81,564-a-year network engineer at the medical center, also committed wrongdoing in providing meals and entertainment to Brown, the report said.
State ethics laws forbid public officials and employees from soliciting or accepting items that improperly influence their duties and also forbid government contractors from providing gifts to public employees.
Daugherty told investigators that he and Brown, a network architect who earns $68,000 a year, live near each other and are “best friends.” Brown declined to speak with the inspector general’s office.
Both men remain on the job pending the outcome of investigations, with which the medical center has cooperated, Ohio State spokesman Bob Mackle said. Both received written reprimands after OSU learned of the allegations against them in August 2012, Mackle said.
Restaurants where Daugherty entertained Brown included Kobe Japanese Steakhouse, Marcella’s Short North, Cap City Diner, Dugout Sports Bar, Whiskey Dick’s and On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina, Meyer’s office said.
Daugherty falsely listed on his expense reports to Accu-Tech that he had provided meals to five other OSU Wexner Medical Center employees, the inspector general’s report said.
Atlanta-based Accu-Tech had a contract with Ohio State to provide telecommunications cabling materials and accessories to the Wexner Medical Center. OSU paid the company $169,299 last year.
The report was forwarded to Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien, Columbus City Attorney Richard C. Pfeiffer Jr. and the Ohio Ethics Commission for potential action.
The inspector general’s office suggested that Wexner Medical Center review the conduct of Brown and Daugherty to determine whether discipline is warranted.
By Randy Ludlow - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)
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