Report questions $1.8 million in university payments

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The state watchdog on Tuesday questioned $1.8 million of $2.3 million in payments made by an Ohio university to an economic development consultant.

Payments of $1.8 million by Wright State University to Ron Wine Consulting Group were overpayments or unsupported, questionable or unauthorized payments, according to an Ohio Inspector General report. The university hired Wine to bring in state and federal funding and contracts.

For his part, Wine sued Wright State last year seeking $4.5 million in unpaid compensation.

Wright State hired a new lawyer last year to address many of the issues in the report, said university spokesman Seth Bauguess. In addition, Wright State now ensures all financial dealings with vendors are conducted appropriately and openly, he said.

Kenneth Ignozzi, an attorney representing Wine, said Tuesday that all payments were directed by the university.

Ignozzi said the inspector general should have waited for information compiled through Wine's lawsuit, including a recent deposition by the Wright State president.

The inspector general forwarded its report to the state auditor and the Greene County prosecutor.