NEW ORLEANS -- Louisiana's legislative auditor found possible misappropriation of federal work-study program funds at Delgado Community College in New Orleans.
Delgado's own police department determined that a college employee forged student signatures and altered time sheets resulting in unearned payments of at least $22,500.
"Delgado could not prove that those students were actually working in the areas they were supposed to be working," said Ernie Summerville as spokesman for the legislative auditor.
The audit also revealed nearly $12,000 may have been stolen from the school's Dolphin Card program, a series of ATMs on campus.
Investigators suspect a former employee with keys to the machines may have taken the money.
"I think it's an area where the supervisors had a certain level of control and power that they misused," said Summerville.
The audit comes at a time when Delgado is facing an $8 million budget shortfall and closing its Northshore campus next year.
"They should do something about it," said student Jamal Washington. "They can't just do life like that and steal people's money."
"People are working hard to go to school here and you just stealing money," said student Brandon Jarrow.
Delgado brought the infractions to the attention of the state auditors.
"The college did self report in advance of the findings and we have taken action quickly to make sure we have the policies and procedures in place and the right people in place to make sure that it doesn't happen again," said Delgado Marketing Director Carol Gniady.
Delgado has not taken legal action against the former employees now accused of wrongdoing and so far no money has been recovered. But, copies of the audit were sent to local law enforcement for possible prosecution.