Meehan mum about UMass committee’s closed session

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Written by Colin A. Young

BOSTON — A committee of the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees on Wednesday met in a closed session to discuss an “on-going investigation” under a state law that allows public bodies to meet in private to discuss possible criminal activity.

The board’s Audit Committee entered an executive session to receive an update on an “on-going investigation pursuant to General Law Chapter 30A, section 21(a)(5),” according to the meeting agenda.

That section of state law governs the purposes of executive sessions of public bodies and in particular sessions “to investigate charges of criminal misconduct or to consider the filing of criminal complaints.”

UMass officials were tight-lipped when asked about the investigation before Wednesday morning’s meeting.

“From time to time there are these issues that come up in audit,” UMass President Martin Meehan said. He declined to be more specific.

When asked if there is an ongoing criminal investigation at the university system, Meehan said, “I can’t comment on that right now.”

The chairman of the UMass Board of Trustees also declined to comment specifically on the matter that was to be discussed behind closed doors.

“I asked the committee chair if anything like that was coming up and she indicated that there was not,” Victor Woolridge said before the meeting. “I’m waiting to find out myself.”

Meehan and Woolridge were both among those present when the public was asked to leave to the meeting room at 225 Franklin Street to allow for the executive session.

Copyright State House News Service