THE LATEST ON THE SLADE TRIAL!
BY: BRIAN ROGERS
Former TSU President Priscilla Slade’s predecessor testified against her Wednesday as prosecutors tried to contrast his frugal administration with the alleged excesses under Slade’s regime.
Slade is accused of spending more than $500,000 of Texas Southern University’s money on personal expenses, including more than $100,000 in bar tabs, during her six-year tenure. She faces up to life in prison if convicted.
James Douglas, currently a law professor at TSU, was president from 1996 to 1999 but was fired after they lost faith in his abilities as an administrator, earlier testimony from regents showed. Regents then tapped Slade, who was dean of the business school at TSU, for the job. They fired her in May 2006 because of her spending habits.
Assistant District Attorney Donna Goode made a point to show that Douglas lived comfortably on his TSU salary, was happy with a housing allowance that was half of Slade’s and ran his own errands instead of using a personal assistant provided by the university.
“Did you ask TSU for money for your house?” Goode asked.
“No,” Douglas answered. “Bank of America.”
Slade is accused of having the university finance new flooring, a new roof, landscaping and furniture for her home in Missouri City and other expenses for her $1.3 million Memorial Park home.
Jurors were released at noon to give Slade’s defense team time to review charts that detail her spending. The charts were created by prosecutors who hope to introduce them with their final witness, DA investigator George Jordan.
Testimony this week made it clear that hundreds of thousands of dollars in purchases were made during Slade’s tenure, but Slade’s attorney Mike DeGeurin worked to parse out the spending as either directed by someone else, approved by someone else, or reasonable and necessary for the university.
MORE @ WWW.CHRON.COM