Federal monitor to monitor med school

Dec. 22, 2005 at 10:57 AM
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TRENTON, N.J., Dec. 22 (UPI) -- A federal monitor reportedly might be appointed to supervise the financial affairs of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

Officials at the school -- the nation's largest health care university -- said earlier this week they would allow the presence of a monitor to avoid federal prosecution for Medicaid fraud, The New York Times reported Thursday.

The school's trustees reportedly approved the action after U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie warned them he would prosecute the school criminally for intentionally over-billing the Medicaid program.

If criminal charges were brought, the university might be disqualified from receiving the federal aid that makes up much of its budget, The Times said. A Justice Department spokesman in Washington told the newspaper once the trustees formally accept a monitor, the school will become the first public university in the nation to be placed under federal oversight.

The school allegedly dispensed patronage jobs and millions of dollars in no-bid contracts to political allies, sometimes for work that was not performed, The Times reported.

Christie was to meet Friday with Acting New Jersey Gov. Richard Codey to discuss possible candidates for the monitor's post.

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