ATLANTA — Channel 2 has learned that another Georgia Tech professor is under criminal investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Roozbeh Kangari works as a professor in the College of Architecture, and headed up the school’s building construction program before stepping down last year.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer obtained a letter from the attorney general’s office requesting the GBI do a criminal investigation into allegations of theft from the college.
“It has to do with misappropriation of funds that were designated to maybe other areas,” said GBI spokesman John Bankhead.
By phone, Kangari told Fleischer he did nothing wrong. He said he’s been cooperating with investigators, and that this whole thing has been blown out of proportion.
Sources told Fleischer that some of the allegations stem from Kangari’s travel bills submitted to Georgia Tech for payment. State records show his travel in 2006 at $14,883. In 2007, it jumped $20,153. It more than doubled in 2008 and 2009 to $44,130 and $44,278. Then in 2010, it was back down to $13,995 again. Kangari said it was all for seminars or other business trips.
The attorney general’s office confirms there have been at least half a dozen separate investigations involving Georgia Tech employees in the last two years.
Last May, GBI agents raided several metro-area homes, searching for records in another case. Four employees were accused of steering state funds to a professor’s private company. Several others have pleaded guilty to misusing state purchasing cards.
But internal school investigators caught all of it.
Senior Assistant Attorney General David McLaughlin applauded them for their diligence. He told Fleischer it may seem like Georgia Tech has a lot of these cases, but it could just be that the school is better at catching wrongdoing and reporting it.
“Well they’ve been good at that. I think every case we’ve opened over there was a result of their finding out about the problem,” said Bankhead, “We have been at Georgia Tech more than I guess we should have.”
The GBI said it will forward the Kangari case to the attorney general’s office for a decision on prosecution soon.