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story.lead_photo.caption Former Arkansas State University Chancellor Tim Hudson is shown in this file photo. - Photo by Staton Breidenthal

The FBI refused to interview a former chancellor of Arkansas State University at Jonesboro because there was no allegation or evidence that a crime had been committed, according to an Arkansas State Police report.

Chancellor Tim Hudson resigned in 2016 after an internal audit "revealed conflict of interest matters" and "several ethics violations," according to the State Police report.

Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington had requested the State Police investigation.

"I would appreciate the State Police opening an investigation into the matters cited in the audit report to assist our office in determining whether the former chancellor's actions were in violation of Arkansas criminal law," according to Ellington's letter to the State Police.

The State Police investigated, but they couldn't get the FBI to do so without an allegation of criminal activity.

According to the report, State Police Special Agent David Moss asked the FBI to interview Hudson, his wife Deidra and two other people implicated in the case.

On May 21, Joe Pickett, a special agent with the State Police, spoke with James T. Adams, a supervisory special agent at the Little Rock FBI office, according to the report.

"The FBI will not be able to provide the requested interviews due to the fact there is no evidence or allegation that a crime has been committed," Pickett wrote in an email to Moss.

The State Police investigation and an audit conducted by Arkansas Legislative Audit supported the FBI's conclusion, Moss wrote in his report.

A grand jury agreed Dec. 12, declining to indict Hudson on any criminal charges.

Frank Arey, legal counsel for Legislative Audit, said the agency is required under Arkansas Code Annotated 10-4-419 to notify the appropriate prosecuting attorney when an audit reveals improper or illegal practices.

State and ASU System audits revealed that Hudson tried to hire his wife, Deidra Hudson, as the university's full-time study-abroad director. When he learned that state law prevented him from hiring his spouse in the position, Hudson blocked the hiring of a full-time director so his wife could remain in the position part time.

Deidra Hudson later resigned from the position, and the university has since hired a full-time study-abroad director.

Tim Hudson received free trips abroad and allocated student-assistance money to a company for which he once served on the board, according to the audits. Subsequent investigations also found that Hudson tried to use his status as chancellor to help his daughter get financial assistance from out-of-state colleges she was considering.

Tim Hudson earned $360,000 a year as ASU chancellor. He led the Jonesboro campus for four years and left with no severance pay.

In June 2017, the ASU board of trustees approved hiring Kelly Damphousse to replace Hudson. Damphousse was previously dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oklahoma.

Metro on 12/29/2018

Print Headline: FBI cites no evidence in case against ex-ASU chief

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