Secretary of State Kate Brown says a University of Oregon research department manipulated payroll in order to avoid mandatory furloughs and salary freezes imposed by the governor.
U of O officials asked the Secretary of State to audit the Institute of Neuroscience after an internal review flagged problems. In 2009, the governor imposed across the board furloughs and pay freezes for all state employees in response to the economic crisis. Tony Green is with the Secretary of State's office.
Green: "There was some manipulation used through overtime and extra hours to allow several researchers to be compensated the way they would have normally been compensated but because of furloughs should have been receiving less."
U of O Spokeswoman Julie Brown says the manager of the Neuroscience Unit is no longer a University employee. The Secretary of State's office has asked the University to look into the extent of overpayment to employees and seek reimbursement. Brown says up to $300 thousand has been returned to the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation.