Former Langston worker investigated

Tuesday, September 9th 2008, 11:06 pm
By: News 9

By Rusty Surette, NEWS 9

LANGSTON, Okla. -- An internal audit due this week could result in criminal charges being filed against a former Langston University employee.

Karen Michele Matthews is accused of misusing funds at Langston University by forging checks totaling at least $22,000, according to university documents.

Matthews worked at the school as an administrative assistant for the Langston Community Development Corporation, a community-improvement organization.

According to internal documents, Matthews issued a number of checks made payable to herself from the LCDC account and forged the names of two supervisors.

In 1991, Matthews pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree forgery in Oklahoma County.

And in 2001, she pleaded guilty to concealing stolen property.

The money Matthews is accused of taking belonged to the LCDC, which was established in 1996 through federal grants, but was later taken over by the school.

In a statement, university officials said, "Ms. Matthews was hired by the LCDC. Langston University was unaware of any prior criminal history involving Ms. Matthews at the time."

Once complete, the on-going audit will be turned over to the district attorney's office for review.

Earlier this summer, Karen Matthews' boss, Richard Mumford, resigned from his position as the Executive Director of the LCDC, but university officials said they have no reason to believe he participated in any illegal activities.

Before Matthews was terminated, the school sent her a detailed letter outlining the allegations against her.