Dennis Black under investigation for UB spending
UB declines comment regarding former vice president’s investigation
Former UB Vice President Dennis Black is under investigation for hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenditures during his time at UB, according to The Buffalo News.
This spending is affiliated with the Faculty-Student Association, better known as Campus Dining and Shops. The investigation by the state Inspector General’s Office and the Erie County District Attorney’s Office seeks to determine whether the expenditures are appropriate and properly authorized. Investigators are examining expenditures of $250,000 to $600,000.
“We’re talking about hundreds and thousands here, not hundreds of thousands of dollars. There was an audit. Reimbursement was made. If there were errors made, they were correctable errors,” Black said to The Buffalo News.
Black, a recognizable face on campus, resigned from his position suddenly this past July after being questioned about the expenditures. The university and Black both refused to comment about the disappearance.
Sunday morning, UB President Satish Tripathi sent an email to faculty that read, “As president, I want to take this opportunity to affirm our university's abiding commitment to upholding the highest standards of integrity and ethical conduct in every aspect of the university.”
Tripathi did not mention Black’s name in the email.
UB Spokesperson John Della Contrada said the university “cannot confirm or comment on potential investigations reported in the news media,” in an email.
The Inspector General’s Office also investigated Dean Yerry, a retired maintenance supervisor who worked under Black. Yerry was charged with rigging bids on $1 million dorm painting contracts this September. Yerry is currently being prosecuted by the District Attorney’s Office.
Even if Black had no direct involvement, the spending occurred under his supervision.
Black, who attended UB for both undergraduate and law school, has not been questioned by law enforcement and has not hired a lawyer.
The former vice president was well regarded within the university as well as the local community. He worked within UB for 38 years and held many positions before he was appointed as vice president in 2010.
Black was also a staple in the local community. He raised millions of dollars alongside the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County and was set to step in as the chairman of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra this September, but instead has moved to South Carolina with his wife, Leilani.
All information regarding the investigation is according to The Buffalo News.
Tori Roseman is the managing editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org