Hazing Death Probe Uncovers Possible Fraud, Misconduct At Florida A&M

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida authorities investigating the death of a Florida A&M University drum major say they have uncovered possible employee fraud and misconduct at the school.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement sent letters Tuesday to the head of the FAMU board and the head of the state university system, telling them investigators had uncovered potential violations of law as part of the probe into what is believed to be the hazing death of a Marching 100 band member. Robert Champion died Nov. 19 after a marching band performance at a football game.

A Florida law enforcement spokesman would not discuss details of the investigation, but confirmed it will now be handled separately from Champion’s death.

The letter from the law enforcement agency said the possible fraud and misconduct involves employees at the school as well as “persons associated” with the university.

A spokeswoman with FAMU said she had not seen the letters and could not immediately comment.

Champion was found unresponsive on a bus parked in front of an Orlando hotel after the FAMU football team’s loss to Bethune-Cookman. He died a short time later at a hospital.

University officials suspended the famed Marching 100 band from performances until the investigation is completed.

Earlier this week, three band students were arrested and accused of hazing a freshman clarinet player this fall by severely beating her legs.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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