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New Data May Clear Suzuki of Wrongdoing : Education: CSU spokesman says new documents might exonerate head of Cal Poly Pomona in accepting housing allowance after he moved into campus home.

August 19, 1993|DENISE HAMILTON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The chancellor's office of the California State University system said Wednesday that it has unearthed additional information that may clear the president of Cal Poly Pomona of wrongdoing in accepting an off-campus housing allowance after he moved into his on-campus home.

The Times reported earlier this week that President Bob Suzuki continued to accept his monthly $1,000 housing allowance through July--10 months after repairs to his on-campus residence were finished and four months after he formally moved into the house.

A resolution approved by the chancellor's office in 1991 called for Suzuki to receive $1,000 in state funds each month until repairs to his house on campus were completed.

Steve MacCarthy, a spokesman for the chancellor's office, said top officials did not know last week about the existence of other documents that might exonerate Suzuki. He declined to give specifics.

But MacCarthy said, "It's safe to say there clearly is more to it than one little resolution.

"When questions are raised publicly about something, you want to go back and dig through files and re-create the circumstances around the situation," MacCarthy said. "Sometimes people may not be aware of all the information. In looking at the housing situation, the indication is that there is not a problem."

Through a spokesman, Suzuki declined to comment Wednesday. In a prepared statement issued earlier this week, the president maintained that he had done nothing wrong and said he acted "according to all applicable systemwide policies and procedures."

Suzuki received $24,000 in state funds for the housing allowance, beginning in July, 1991, when he was appointed president. He has said he delayed moving into the house for 10 months because he hoped to raise additional funds through private sources to make more repairs on the residence, which had been unoccupied for 14 years. He also said that under an agreement with CSU he was to take the housing allowance for no more than two years.

Cal Poly has been the subject of a chancellor's investigation since The Times reported in May that the university had hired a friend of the president who spent tens of thousands of dollars promoting the university in Asia and recruiting Asian students for Cal Poly's continuing education program.

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