Tuesday, February 09, 1999

Former UC official gets probation in theft


Ex-black studies head must pay back $12,100

BY DAN HORN
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The former head of the University of Cincinnati's African-American studies department was sentenced Monday to three years' probation for theft in office.

        Norman Harris pleaded guilty to the charge two months ago after prosecutors accused him of accepting improper fees, filing false travel vouchers and double-billing for university expenses.

        In exchange for the plea, prosecutors agreed to drop three other theft charges as well as charges of tampering with records.

        UC officials have said many of the allegations deal with Mr. Harris' relationship with UC and his role as director of the African American Academy, an elementary school he founded in 1994 in South Cumminsville.

        Mr. Harris resigned as department head in 1994 and was a professor at UC until 1997. He left after UC Police launched an investigation into his conduct.

        Prosecutors have said Mr. Harris' actions cost the university about $12,000. Before entering his plea, Mr. Harris had faced up to 11 years in prison if he had been convicted on all charges.

        In Hamilton County Common Pleas Court on Monday, Judge Ralph Winkler ordered Mr. Harris to serve three years' probation and to pay $12,100 in restitution.

        The judge also agreed to let Mr. Harris serve his probation in Georgia, where he now lives.

       



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