Two former Southwestern Community College staff members are under investigation for allegedly enrolling in classes and then dropping out to defer making federal loan payments.
Students who take at least six hours of course work can put off repaying money they borrowed to go to college.
Former Registrar Christy Deaver, 40, who worked for SCC for 18 years and as registrar since 2004, is suspected of having “used her position” to “misuse” the state computer system, court papers say.
In October, SCC officials reported to the State Bureau of Investigation they’d discovered Deaver and Fairley Pollock, 38, a former student services coordinator at the Macon County SCC campus, were changing reports sent to the National Student Loan registry. Pollock left SCC on June 5 to become Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College’s director of educational partnership.
Court papers say Christy Deaver’s husband, Ricky Dale Deaver, also enrolled and dropped out of SCC classes. The Deavers and Pollock could not be immediately reached for comment. No criminal charges have been filed.
Here’s the timeline:
• On Oct. 14, SCC Vice President Cliff Stalter notified the SBI that “two employees used the state computer systems to change reports going to the Federal Student Loan registry,” court papers say. College department heads are required by law to report possible violations of criminal statutes involving misuse of state property. Deaver quit her SCC job on Oct. 5. She’d been placed on administrative leave as SCC leaders conducted an internal investigation.
• On Nov. 2, SBI Agent Shannon Ashe met with Stalter and SCC Human Resources Director Lisa Sizemore, who told him Deaver “had used her position” to enroll in SCC classes and withdraw, and that Pollock and Ricky Dale Deaver also had been enrolled and withdrawn, according to court papers.
• On Nov. 9, the SBI agent met with eight SCC employees: Stalter, Sizemore, Rita Norris, Scott Baker, Cheryl Contino-Conner, Patty Wall, Melody Lawrence and Sayward Cabe. The group developed a list of documents the SBI needed for a criminal probe.
Last Thursday, Agent Ashe asked Superior Court Judge Bill Coward for a search warrant to execute at SCC – “officials are cooperating fully,” he told the judge – and got one. Ashe went to SCC, where administrators had compiled the documents he wanted. They handed them over.
The alleged crime, according to court papers, is “accessing government computers.” It’s illegal to access government computers to defraud or obtain property or services falsely or fraudulently.
SCC spokesman Tyler Goode declined to comment except to note SCC is cooperating fully in the criminal investigation.