A former official of Dodge City Community College is the subject of a Kansas Bureau of Investigation fraud-by-misuse-of-funds inquiry.
The college’s Board of Trustees requested that attorney Allen Glendenning investigate Danny Gillum, the former vice president of the Dodge City Community College, in February. Gillum resigned last year, but questions were raised when they learned he took items belonging to the college home with him.
Gillum’s residence, in the 11000 block of Horseshoe Road in Wright, is also the address of his private firearms training business Tactical Training Associates, the report says.
On Jan. 20, Gillum’s wife brought a night vision scope, laptop and two ballistic vests to Gillum’s former assistant. She later returned a bag of rappelling equipment that belonged to the college. A second laptop was returned in March. A predator caller system, used for hunting, also delivered to Gillum’s home, has yet to be returned, the report says.
The summary said that:
▪ Gillum told his assistant in February 2016 to submit a request for a night vision scope that mounts on an assault rifle. The scope was paid for by the college, half out of the security department’s budget and half out of the criminal justice program’s budget, but delivered to Gillum’s home, which is also where his business is based. The scope was not used in either department and neither department knew about the purchase before or after. Gillum told Glendenning the scope had been delivered to his address to protect it from damage or theft. He said he brought the scope to work after purchasing it, but doesn’t know if anyone saw it. He said the scope was accidentally packed after he resigned.
▪ In January 2013, Gillum purchased two ballistic vests for response to any possible active shooter situation on campus. The requisition had a sticky note on it that said, “President approved this for Travis & I for campus response.” The president at the time, Don Woodburn, told Glendenning he had no memory about whether he approved the purchase. After the vests were received, Gillum kept one and gave the other to another employee. A a year later, the report says, more vests were purchased for security officers. Gillum took one of those vests as well. He kept one vest in his truck and one in his campus office.
▪ When Gillum left the college, he took home the ballistic vest from his office. He told Glendenning that he took the vest “so it would not walk off.” He continued to have that vest and the one in his truck until it was returned by his wife in January.
▪ In December 2012, Gillum submitted a requisition for the predator caller. There’s no record of the item being received by the college nor is there any record of anyone at the college having been informed it was received, the report says. Gillum’s attorney told the investigator the caller was purchased to “train students.” It was also shipped to his home address.
▪ Prior to Gillum being promoted to vice president, he taught classes on terrorism, first aid, outdoor first aid, outdoor survival and wilderness medicine. When he was promoted, Gillum suggested the college hire his wife to replace him. The president told Glendenning he has no memory of him approving her being hired, but also cannot say he didn’t. Gillum’s wife was paid $6,900 in 2014, $37,000 in 2015 and $49,000 in 2016. The number of credit hours she taught and the pay she received rivaled the workload of a full-time employed professor, but she didn’t go through the normal hiring process for a professor, the report says.
▪ Gillum initially hired his wife to teach all of his guided studies classes except the terrorism class. However, in 2015, he had become the college’s chief academic officer and she began teaching the terrorism class.
▪ Glendenning said the college’s policy discourages nepotism but says the college can hire a family member if four criteria are met. Gillum’s wife didn’t meet the criteria for teaching the terrorism class, the report says. He agreed with Glendenning that she didn’t meet the criteria but said he didn’t look for another qualified instructor before hiring her. He told Glendenning he would always monitor what went on and would sometimes sit in on her face-to-face meetings with students and would answer any questions she couldn’t.
▪ Gillum said the hiring of his wife was approved by the college’s president, but agreed that the president didn’t know what his wife’s qualifications were, Glendenning said.
▪ The investigation also looked into a significant number of firearms that have been purchased by the college, including handguns, shotguns and assault rifles. Two firearm training classes were added to the criminal justice program and included training on shotguns and a handgun. However, purchases were made for rifles that were not mentioned in either the course proposals or syllabi, the report says. The guns were used to qualify some of the security officers and were used by Gillum and another employee at a range, the report says.
▪ Gillum at times taught a conceal carry class through the college and it paid for the advertising. Gillum told Glendenning he charged $100 a class and would sometimes keep some of the money even though the college paid for advertising and provided the facility.
The Ford County attorney forwarded Glendenning’s findings to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation in June. Its investigation is ongoing. However, the school’s board voted to release the summary report of Glendenning’s investigation.