SUNY Canton To Do Audit After VP Turns Herself In To Police


Update: 7 News Reporter John Friot has learned that SUNY Canton President Joseph Hoffman has authorized an internal control audit for the college after the shared Vice President of Business Affairs and Administrative Services Natalie Higley turned herself in to Georgia authorities Friday on a six count criminal indictment.

The audit will focus on a physical inventory of the college.
Meanwhile, the Canton College Foundation has also launched an internal "General Transaction Audit."

Both audits will cover the period from July 1, 2011 to present.

Higley is free on a $25,000 bond to await arraignment of rackateering charges and alleged theft and sale of items from Bainbridge State College where she once worked.

Late Friday afternoon, SUNY Potsdam released the following statement:

"The SUNY Potsdam campus leadership has already formulated a plan, and of course if the allegations move forward to trial, it would be our fiduciary responsibility to initiate an internal audit. Any review would be conducted by an external objective auditor."

Our earlier report:

The shared vice president of Business Affairs and Administrative Services for both SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton has turned herself in to Georgia authorities to face charges she allegedly stole items for Bainbridge State College.

Natalie Higley turned herself in at the Decatur County Sheriff's Department around 10:30 a.m. Friday on a warrant stemming from a six-count criminal indictment.

A sheriff's department spokesperson says a $25,000 bond had been set for Higley.

Officials said Higley posted the bond and is free until her arraignment March 4.

Higley was one of four former Bainbridge College workers charged in alleged thefts that included a tractor and other items over a seven-year period.

Higley continues to use personal vacation time from her $155,000-a-year job.

In a joint statement from SUNY Canton President Joseph Hoffman and SUNY Potsdam President Dennis Hefner, the colleges are "still awaiting the resolution of the legal proceedings."

In the meantime, Heffner will handle the chief financial officer duties at SUNY Potsdam, while shared budgets director Shawn Miller will assume those duties on the SUNY Canton campus.

Saturday, December 3, 2016
, Watertown, NY

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