Alabama State Suit Against Auditor Dismissed by California Court

July 3, 2014

A California court has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Alabama State University against the auditing firm that’s reviewing the school’s finances.

An attorney for Forensic Strategic Solutions said that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard Fruin threw out the case by ruling he doesn’t have jurisdiction to hear the dispute.

“It is unfortunate that both parties had to spend substantial time and resources disputing this matter,” attorney Jeff Windham said in a statement.

Alabama State’s attorney, former U.S. District Judge U.W. Clemon, said the university has not decided whether to appeal the ruling in California or refile the case in Alabama.

Alabama State sued Forensic Strategic Solutions of Birmingham, Alabama, last fall during the company’s investigation of school finances.

Gov. Robert Bentley hired the firm to review the university amid claims of possible fraud, and a preliminary report pointed to possible conflict of interests.

School officials deny any wrongdoing at Alabama State.

The Montgomery university filed suit in California claiming the company has business dealings there and the university has lots of alumni there.

Since Forensic Strategic Solutions issued its preliminary report, Moody’s Investors Service has twice downgraded Alabama State’s bond ratings, labeling its financial outlook as a negative.

Also, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which accredits colleges in the South, has issued the university a warning for failing to comply with accrediting standards.

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