Montemagno used school money for daughter's move - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Montemagno used school money for daughter's move

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CARBONDALE -- Southern Illinois University Chancellor Carlo Montemagno faces more questions after he admitted to using school money to pay for his daughter and son-in-law 's move to Carbondale.

It comes weeks after SIU confirmed it hired the couple. 

Documents show Montemagno's daughter's job as assistant director of university communications was specifically created "for the family member of a key hire."

Montemagno's daughter, Melissa Germain, makes $52,000 per year and is subject to yearly contract renewals. 

The university hired Melissa's husband, Jeffrey Germain, to help the associate vice chancellor of research in September.

Montemagno calls the latest development a "misunderstanding."

Montemagno's contract allows him to use up to $61,000 dollars for moving expenses, an amount he exceeded because of his daughter and son-in-law's move.

The Daily Egyptian says the cost for moving his daughter's family totaled $16,000.

Montemagno refunded the university and on his blog offered this explanation: "What was to be included in the contracted amount was not part of a detailed listing, so there was a misunderstanding about what could be covered in the the move." 

Montemagno said his statement about the moving expenses was posted "in the interest of transparency".

SIU President Randy Dunn said the school learned about the moving expenses after checking to see why Montemagno's lab equipment, which he pledged to donate to the university, had not been moved yet. 

"There was a misunderstanding I think in how he had read the contract and whether the second household could come or not," explained Dunn.

Dunn said while Montemagno's request that his daughter and her husband be hired was unusual, other institutions Montemagno worked for had made the accommodations and the board felt SIU could as well.

Dunn said the board didn't put it into Montemagno's contract, however. 

Dunn said if a state inspector general inquiry determines the board of trustees didn't read the law correctly or determines they took an improper action, the board "has been clear they want to go back and address that and make it right."

There are a couple of investigations, including an ethics investigation, into the hiring of Montemagno's daughter and son in law. 

No word when those investigations will be completed.

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