Almanac

News - September 18, 2013

Former financial officer sues Menlo College

A former chief financial officer of Menlo College filed a lawsuit Sept. 9 against the college, claiming he was terminated after he complained that the college misused funds in violation of state and federal laws.

In the suit filed in San Mateo County Superior Court, Nilo Ventura alleges that the college improperly used federal financial aid money and the college's tax-exempt housing for students and family members, and falsely reported the college's expenses and revenues. He also claims unlawful employment discrimination based on race.

In a statement, the college said: "We unequivocally deny the allegation. We believe the suit to be completely baseless and we intend to vigorously defend ourselves."

According to the suit, Mr. Ventura had been chief financial officer reporting directly to the president, James J. Kelly. But in January, the college created the position of executive vice president and appointed Steven Weiner to that post.

Mr. Ventura said he was offered the job of budget director, reporting to Mr. Weiner, "at substantially less pay, authority" and responsibility than he had in the chief financial officer position.

When Mr. Ventura refused the new position, he was terminated, he said in the suit.

Mr. Ventura is seeking reinstatement and compensation for his losses.

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