Report Clearing Westin Is Released

Times Staff Writer

Former community college Chancellor Philip Westin did not act illegally or fraudulently in his handling of district business, according to a report released this week.

The report, by an independent auditor hired by the college district’s board of trustees to investigate allegations against Westin, comes three months after his resignation.

At the time, trustees said Westin had been cleared of wrongdoing, but they refused to release the report pending the outcome of a lawsuit filed on behalf of county taxpayers.


The lawsuit contained allegations against Westin, including six reviewed by the certified public accounting firm Macias, Gini and Co. of Los Angeles.

The report was released Tuesday after the lawsuit was settled out of court. All parties agreed not to sue each other. Westin had been accused of buying an outdoor lighting system for his private residence with district money; he and Vice Chancellor Michael Gregoryk were accused of going on an all-expense- paid trip to the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Ga.; and Westin and former trustee Norman Nagel were accused of misusing district money on car rentals and a trip to Cuba.

“Our review of the facts did not disclose the existence of illegal acts or fraud as related to the allegations,” accountant James V. Godsey wrote to the trustees’ attorney.

Investigators found that Gregoryk attended the golf tournament on his vacation time and did not seek district reimbursement; that trustees approved the car rental expenses for Westin and Nagel in 2001 because their personal cars had been vandalized; that both men reimbursed the district for their trip to Cuba; and that Westin had received permission from the board to buy a $1,600 outdoor lighting system for his home.

Investigators, however, found no documentation to verify board approval of the rental cars and the lighting system, the report stated. It said investigators based their conclusions on those two matters on information gained from employees during interviews.

Board President Art Hernandez said Wednesday the report’s release to the public was another step in putting the Westin matter behind them.


“I think it’s a significant step,” Hernandez said. “It’s one less thing that’s weighing us down from moving forward.”