Departed state Higher Education chief Robert Kennedy has sent back a $25,000 check to repay one of two payments he received in that amount from an unvouchered expense account he enjoyed as part of his lucrative contract – a deal that gave him more than $100,000 in extras beyond his annual base salary of $340,000 during the 13 months he was on the job, such as bonuses and deferred compensation.
State Board of Regents spokeswoman Colleen Flanagan said in a Monday email that Kennedy, who resigned Oct. 12, had received the second $25,000 unvouchered expense payment in his Sept. 20 paycheck. It was the second he had received since taking the job in Sept. 2011.
Flanagan said that Kennedy returned the money with this Oct. 15 note, which was headed “returning business expense funds for 2012-2013″: “As a result of my employment termination, I am enclosing a personal check returning the ‘business expense funds for 2012-2013′ which were included in my 9/20/2012 paycheck as taxable income.”
Kennedy resigned amid a political furor over the revelation that he had granted more than $250.000 worth of raises to his staff.
As reported by The Courant in recent days, the contract of the appointee of Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy called for lucrative extras beyond his base salary. The contract called for an annual unvouchered expense account of $25,000 – which he would receive whether or not he documented specific expenses, although he was responsible for “any tax consequences” resulting from it. Flanagan said last week that Kennedy received two of them for a total of $50,000 because he served in parts of two fiscal years; the state’s fiscal year, for budget purposes, always begins July 1 and ends June 30.