Branum claims grand jury report exonerates him, college president
The J. Robinson Intensive Camps issued a $21,000 check to Lassen College Wrestling, and at Cissell’s direction, the money was deposited into the account of the LCC Foundation.
The grand jury referred the matter to both the state attorney general’s office and the Lassen County District Attorney’s Office for review, alleging the coach and the former president misled the grand jury when they testified about the donation. According to the grand jury, the check should have been deposited into the college’s general fund.
Branum rejects the grand jury’s conclusions and said the documentation the grand jury included in its own annual report exonerates the college president and the wrestling coach.
In a written statement to this newspaper, Branum thanked the grand jury for making its report public. He noted some of the information was “a bit disjointed” and “not relevant to any investigation,” however, “if one can wade through the irrelevant material, this report does confirm several facts that exonerate both Dr. Cissell and myself.”
Branum said the documentation included in the grand jury’s report shows the J. Robinson Intensive Camps paid LCC for all the services it obtained from the college.
“First, the report does show that the J. Robinson Intensive Camps were billed $5,478 for tuition and paid via Visa card payment on Nov. 13, 2003,” Branum wrote. “The J. Robinson Intensive Camps were billed $16,120 for lodging and paid via Visa card payments of $5,000 on Nov. 20, 2003 and $11,120 on Nov. 26, 2003. The J. Robinson Intensive Camps were billed $50,330.82 for food services during their stay with us, and that bill was indeed paid in full by check #90503. This fulfilled their agreement with Lassen College.”
Branum said J. Robinson Intensive Camps paid $21,000 to Lassen College Wrestling for services completed by the LCC Wrestling Boosters.
“It (the grand jury report) also shows check #89218 made out to Lassen College Wresting for $21,000 representing payment for services completed by the wrestling boosters before, during and after the camp. This fulfilled their agreement with Lassen College Wrestling Boosters. The factual conclusion is that everyone received the payments that they were due. I defy anyone to refute that fact. The J. Robinson Intensive Camps have no outstanding bills due at Lassen College. It (the grand jury report) also clearly shows check #89218 was not made out to me personally. In fact, I never even physically touched the check in question.”
Branum maintains the booster organization has the right to spend its money any way it chooses.
“How we expend monies from our booster organization is as much the grand jury’s business as the public knowing the routing and account numbers of the J. Robinson Camps checking account,” Branum wrote. “It’s not their business. If representatives for the Lassen College general fund wish to try and hijack money that was donated to the foundation under the guise of impropriety by Dr. Cissell and myself, then the grand jury’s report will be a major roadblock. In conclusion, I once again would like to thank the Lassen county Grand Jury for releasing its findings to the public. I urge anyone concerned about this matter to read it.”
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