The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is currently investigating Professor Roozbeh Kangari from the College of Architecture for theft from the Institute. Kangari, the former Chair of the School of Building Construction, stepped down from the position last year after serving for 14 years.
Suspicions have been raised over Kangari’s travel expenses, which rose from approximately $14,000 in 2006 to over $44,000 the following two years. In 2010, his expenses fell back to $14,000.
This increase in funds was discovered by Tech auditors during their review of the expenditure accounts.
Tech Chief Audit Executive Phillip Hurd wrote an outline of the allegations to the Board of Regents Associate Vice Chancellor for Internal Audit, John Fuchko III. This memo was attached to the letter request for investigation sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI). Attorney General David McLaughlin submitted this request of investigation to the GBI on Oct. 7, 2010.
Kangari claims that an individual at Tech illegally released the results of an audit.
“I am very upset that someone at Georgia Tech saw fit to violate the clear mandate in the Faculty Handbook requiring confidentiality of an audit,” Kangari said in an email. “I have asked the Office of Legal Affairs at Georgia Tech to investigate this clear violation. I have provided the necessary documents to the University for this audit. I have fully responded to all of the University’s questions.”
Assistant Attorney General Laura Pfister has been appointed to address the case once it has been fully investigated by the GBI. Pfister has previously dealt with cases relating to Tech.
“I have absolutely nothing to hide. I have explained everything. I do not understand why this has been blown way out of proportion. I intend to defend myself, to fight this innuendo, this smear campaign, with all my heart and soul,” Kangari wrote.
Patrick O’Connor, a third-year BC major, commended Kangari’s leadership ability.
“[This case] is sad because he did so much for the program…it’s sad that there is a black mark on his name now,” O’Connor said.
O’Connor also participated in the BC Paris Summer Study Abroad program, which Kangari taught in 2009.
Because the investigation is still ongoing, employees in the College of Architecture have declined to speak with the media.
John Bankhead, the spokesman for GBI, explained that following the completion of the investigation, the case will be turned over to the Attorney General’s Office. That office will determine the appropriate course of action based on the evidence collected by GBI.