Source: Sherman Publications

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No masterís degree and no bachelorís degree either

by Susan Bromley

March 19, 2014

Brandon Twp.- The library failed to receive state aid revenue for the last five years because former Director Paula Gauthier didn't have a master's degree as she claimed.

Now the library board has learned she didn't have a bachelor's degree, either.

"The library board has discovered through the course of our investigation that she not only lied about the master's, she lied about having any college degree," said Board Trustee Ann Schmid. "It just goes into the depth of deception. This was not just a person who didn't finish her (graduate) degree, or finish taking classes or certifications. She was placed in positions under false pretenses all of her adult life."

Karl Haiser, a certified public accountant, recently completed a forensic audit for the library at a cost of $5,000. The library contracted with him to conduct an investigation after Gauthier resigned suddenly Nov. 14, hours before she was to explain to the board why the library had not received state aid revenue for the past five years. Bill DiSessa, a Michigan Department of Education representative, said the library was denied state aid revenue because Gauthier did not provide the college transcripts necessary for a director overseeing a class 4 library, serving a population between 12,000-26,000, and thus was not certified.

Gauthier had claimed she had a master's degree from the University of Michigan, but the school had no records of her attending there. This week, the library received an e-mail from Grand Valley State University stating that while Gauthier did attend the college, she never earned a bachelor's degree from the school.

Schmid said the board is trying to move quickly on results of their findings while also being prudent about the best use of funds in pursuing further investigation.

The next library board meeting is planned for 7 p.m., March 24, at the library, 304 South St.