Georgia Tech Suspends Employees for Suspected Malfeasance
Department of Audits Review Questions Appropriation of Institute Resources
Posted May 17, 2010 | Atlanta, GA
An internal audit examination has led to the suspension of Georgia Institute of Technology employees Joy Laskar and Stephane Pinel.
While reviewing cost overruns within the Georgia Electronic Design Center (GEDC), Georgia Tech’s Department of Internal Auditing found evidence of possible malfeasance including the misappropriation of Institute resources for the benefit of a company, Sayana Wireless, LLC, of which Laskar and Pinel are co-owners. Both Laskar and Pinel, along with staff members Chris Evans and Amanda Scacchitti, have been suspended without pay until the investigation is completed.
“This was an isolated incident that was first identified through an internal audit review,” said James Fetig, associate vice president for Communications & Marketing. “The actions taken are an appropriate exercise of fiduciary responsibility to protect the interests of the Institute and GEDC’s research sponsors. Georgia Tech is cooperating fully with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation which is conducting the investigation.”
The total amount of the suspected malfeasance is under review.
GEDC's research is specifically focused on designing integrated circuits – the chips that make computers, cell phones and many other electronic devices possible. Dr. Mark Allen, senior vice provost for research and innovation, has been named acting director of the center.
The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the world's premier research universities. Ranked seventh among U.S. News & World Report's top public universities and the eighth best engineering and information technology university in the world by Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities, Georgia Tech’s more than 20,000 students are enrolled in its Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Management and Sciences. Tech is among the nation's top producers of women and minority engineers. The Institute offers research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and is home to more than 100 interdisciplinary units plus the Georgia Tech Research Institute.