Florida's Scott wants college head suspended in hazing scandal

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 15, 2011 4:03 PM
Florida's Scott wants college head suspended in hazing scandal

By Michael Peltier

TALLAHASSEE, Fla (Reuters) - Florida Governor Rick Scott on Thursday called on Florida A&M University's board to suspend President James Ammons over his handling of alleged hazing of students that may have led to the death of a band drum major.

Scott contacted FAMU Board of Trustees Chairman Solomon Badger and asked that Ammons be suspended pending the outcome of investigations by state and local law enforcement, the governor's office said. The FAMU board meets Monday.

Scott's request came a day after state police said that, in addition to the hazing scandal, they were investigating alleged financial mismanagement at the historically black college. Ammons was hired in 2007 to correct financial problems.

In November, an investigation by the State University System found at least 15 incidents in which audit reports submitted to the trustees were misrepresented. Following the investigation, the chief audit executive was fired.

FAMU officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

On November 19, Marching "100" drum major Robert Champion died following a performance by the internationally-renowned band in Orlando. Local and state law enforcement officials suspect Champion died following a hazing incident. He was found unresponsive on a bus outside the band's hotel.

Three band members were arrested earlier this week in connection with a separate hazing incident in which police said a band member was beaten so badly her leg was broken.

(Editing by Greg McCune)