Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

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December 10, 2012

WHERE'S THE MONEY? Top Lon Morris officials were paid hundreds of thousands of dollars prior to bankruptcy proceedings, records show

Former LMC employees are outraged

JACKSONVILLE —

Bankruptcy documents filed by the Lon Morris College estate in July indicate hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation was awarded to four upper level college officials before bankruptcy proceedings had even kicked into gear.

Additionally, records indicate bankruptcy estate officials charged the financially-strapped college an additional hundreds of thousands before proceedings had even started.

Dawn Ragan, chief restructuring officer of the Lon Morris College bankruptcy estate, did not return several requests for comment. But former LMC president Dr. Miles McCall, who documents indicate received a $167,181.52 payment in July — the highest such award — strongly denied it.

"I'm not sure what court documents you refer to but you need to read them again," McCall said in a email. "Like all employees, I am still owed back wages, deferred compensation, and I am a creditor listed in the bankruptcy due to a personal loan I made to the college during the difficult time."

However, McCall -- college president from July 2005 until he resigned May 24 -- declined to comment further after a reporter texted and emailed him a copy of the financial affairs statement from which the $167,181.52 amount was cited.

In his only response, McCall declined to answer many questions posted by a reporter on advice of his attorney. These queries revolved around the circumstances of his May resignation, if McCall believes Dawn Ragan is effective in her handling of LMC's bankruptcy, and the current status of the college's pension fund.

According to bankruptcy paperwork, McCall was paid, prior to July 19, for duties performed from July 2011 through December 2012 — in essence, for seven months he did not work.

The three other officers also were paid from July 2011 through December 2012, all receiving payments prior to July, all no longer employed for the remaining five months for which they were paid.

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