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At Miss.'s Alcorn State, no-bid contracts and expensive furniture bring down star president

  • 138da67c56a77b074c0f6a706700080b.jpg

    FILE -In this May 11, 2013 file photo, Alcorn State University President M. Christopher Brown II, speaks during the school's 2013 commencement ceremony at the Dave L. Whitney Athletic Complex on the Lorman, Miss., campus. Brown's resignation was announced Dec. 19, 2013 amid an investigation into university purchasing practices. (AP Photo/The Natchez Democrat, Jay Sowers, File) (The Associated Press)

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    In this Feb. 19, 2014 photograph, Alcorn State University students take a break from playing cards on the Lorman, Miss., campus, to express their support for former President M. Christopher Brown II. Some also expressed concern for lack of information about his resignation and questioned the expenditures made at the on campus residence of the president. Amid an investigation of the spending by the board that oversees the university, Brown and two others resigned in December. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) (The Associated Press)

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    In this Feb. 19, 2014 photograph, Israel Thompson, a sophomore biochemistry major from Gulfport, Miss., left, and member of the university's marching band, expresses his support of M. Christopher Brown II , the former president at Alcorn State University while friend Diamond Smith, a freshman from Wilkerson County, listens at the student union in Lorman, Miss. Thompson said Brown appreciated the band and was a youthful president using social media to address the student body. Amid an investigation of the spending by the board that oversees the university, Brown and two others resigned in December. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) (The Associated Press)

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    In this Feb. 19, 2014 photo, Alcorn State freshman biology major Ayobunni Saleem, from Milwaukee, expresses her concern for the lack of information on the resignation of the school's president, while standing outside the student union building. Amid an investigation of the spending by the board that oversees the university, President M. Christopher Brown II and two others resigned in December. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) (The Associated Press)

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    This Feb. 19, 2014 photograph shows the President's House at Alcorn State University in Lorman, Miss., where it is believed improperly purchased furnishings and renovations were undertaken, factors leading to the resignation of President M. Christopher Brown II in December. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) (The Associated Press)

M. Christopher Brown II was a rising star at Mississippi's Alcorn State University. But even as he and the university were winning awards, complaints began about money spent on upgrades to the president's house and the relationship between a Brown aide and a production company that staged campus concerts.

Records reviewed by The Associated Press show Alcorn spent almost $89,000 at the house without seeking bids as required under state law. Documents also show Alcorn paid $85,000 in fees to the production company associated with Brown's aide, possibly violating state ethics law. And an auditor says the school spent more than $67,000 in bond money on projects not allowed in the lending agreement.

Brown resigned in December as the state College Board moved to suspend him. Two others also resigned.

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