OKLAHOMA CITY – the University of Oklahoma’s former chief diversity officer illegally used a university vehicle hundreds of times for commuting to and from work and the creation of personal family trips, according to an internal organizational UNIT audit released on Thursday.
The audit was requested after allegations surfaced about the improper use of an OU vehicle by the Vice-Chairman of the University Community Jabar Shumate. The former senator was hired three years ago to the middle of the campus unrest after videos surfaced showing brotherhood members in the singing of racist songs.
The audit includes a GPS data displays Shumate’s university-owned property 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe parked overnight at his residence hundreds of times. It also shows Shumate took the vehicle to Tulsa over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, including stops at his mother’s home.
Shumate resigned from the university this week. On Wednesday he held a press conference in which he said that he was forced to resign on the basis of false accusations that amounted to a “high-tech lynching.”
In a statement Thursday, Shumate said he is suspicious of the information that is included in the audit and says the release is part of an effort by the OU officials to “assassinate my character.”
“The university was well aware of my use of the vehicle and therefore punished,” Shumate said.
The chief diversity officer position was established in 2015 after videos surfaced showing Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members at the university singing of racist texts. The university closed the fraternity house and banned the chapter from the campus.
Shumate said, “he was recently informed” that the university is the restoration of the brotherhood.
“Of course, part of the reason this happens is because Mr. Shumate made it clear to the university that he didn’t think that was a smart move,” said Lindsey Mulinix-Ewert, Shumate’s lawyer.
The school denied any such plans.
“The SAE fraternity is not reopening a chapter at the University of Oklahoma and the audit, and the discovery of misuse of funds had nothing to do with this topic,” the university’s statement said.
The university said it was still looking for an interim chief diversity officer to replace Shumate.