Brookdale Community College President Peter Burnham has been put on unpaid leave amid questions about “questionable spending,” the Asbury Park Press reports.
Burham, who has been in the spotlight recently over a pay-and-perks package some elected officials consider exorbitant, was replaced Thursday morning on an interim basis by an acting president “who is both an educator and fraud investigator,” the newspaper says.
From the Press:
“The board took these actions as a direct result of information discovered during a financial review aimed at further reducing Brookdale’s budget,” a prepared statement issued by the trustees says. “That review revealed significant expenses and reimbursements associated with the president’s office budget that may not be directly connected to Brookdale or are contrary to Brookdale’s adopted policies governing travel and mileage and other reimbursable expenses.”
Burnham was not at the meeting. When reached afterward, he said he was a bit “bowled over” and not fully in understanding of all the issues being raised by the board. He declined further comment.
The Press requested last week a full review of Burnham’s expenses. The records are expected to be available tomorrow.
Replacing Burnham, who’s been president of the Lincroft institution for 20 years, is William M. Toms, a retired state police officer and certified fraud examiner, who will become acting president effective Monday, March 7. He will be paid $2,884.61 a week, with no health or pension benefits, the Press reports.