Financial discrepancies prompt federal investigation
BY Curtis Ashley
This has been a rough year, and many wish it would end. That goes double for City College President Lisa S. Coico, who recently found herself in hot water.
United States attorney Robert L. Capers is leading an investigation into past mismanagement of school designated funds by Coico. His office will examine Coico, her family, and the college’s 21st Century Foundation for any wrong doings. News of the investigation surfaced publicly on July 14 in an article in the New York Times metro section by David Chen
Red flags first appeared in a May 28 story in the Times also by Chen.
In Dreams Stall as CUNY, New York City’s Engine of Mobility, Sputters, Chen mentions, in regards to CCNY, that “the college’s 21st Century Foundation paid for some of Ms. Coico’s personal expenses, such as fruit baskets, housekeeping services and rugs.” According to documents obtained from the New York Times, the 21st Century Foundation was later reimbursed for more than $150,000 from CUNY’s Research Foundation.
So far Coico has been the subject of two New York Times articles this year, both citing the president’s suspicious financial activities and the college’s financial shortcomings.
CUNY sensed trouble. City has been dealing with a $14.6 million budget deficit, and earlier this year, Leonard Zinnanti joined our college as Chief Operating Officer, a new position. He served a similar role at Hunter College. His role grants him control over the college’s finances, budgeting, and accounting. His involvement in the investigation is unknown.
President Coico has not said anything on the matter and, beyond her appearances at the numerous graduation ceremonies held on campus, has not been spotted on campus lately.