An administrative coordinator who worked in the LSU Music and Dramatic Arts Building remained in jail Thursday after an internal audit revealed more than $82,000 missing from the theater department’s checking account.
David N. Rodriguez Jr., 48, one of four employees with access to the department’s Campus Federal Credit Union account, told auditors he was in charge of depositing the funds collected from the previous night’s productions to the CFCU account. The audit says $82,132.60 is missing from the $187,212.24 collected from 60 student productions between June 2010 and March 2015.
Rodriguez, 5469 Hermitage Drive, Baton Rouge, told the auditors he took money from the account over the years to buy items for use at the department.
“However, with the exception of a few ink cartridges, he could not recall what was purchased, when the items were purchased, or for whom he purchased the items,” the audit says.
During the LSU police investigation, detectives discovered that the same day the college’s associate dean emailed Rodriguez inquiring about the missing funds on March 17, Rodriguez made two deposits to the department’s CFCU account totaling $16,848. Rodriguez told police he could not remember where he found the funds he deposited.
Subpoenas for Rodriguez’s personal banking records at both CFCU and Capital One Bank revealed that he deposited $27,531 in cash, separate from his paycheck deposits, into his Capital One Bank account, all in increments of $1,000 and less a number of times per year during the time period investigated, the police report says.
Later, in a letter to LSU’s Human Resources rebutting his dismissal, Rodriguez said the funds were used to buy office supplies, equipment and food, though he did not previously mention these items, the police report says.
Rodriguez, who had been employed at LSU since March 2004, also issued two checks together worth $262.72 payable to himself in 2010. Also, he did not disclose that he worked for two outside companies while employed for LSU.
He made checks out to both those companies from the Campus Federal account, the audit says, for services they rendered to LSU. Rodriguez confirmed he issued these checks only after shown the checks in question.
A warrant for his arrest was signed Wednesday, and Rodriguez was booked that day on a count of felony theft into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.
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