Maryland AG sues Sojourner-Douglass College to account for or repay $400,000

Frosh sues Sojourner-Douglass to account for or repay $400,000 in state funding.

Maryland's Attorney General has sued Sojourner-Douglass College to account for or repay about $400,000 in state grants that the school, which closed last year, allegedly had not used for authorized purposes.

Attorney General Brian E. Frosh's office, which filed suit in Baltimore City Circuit Court, is seeking full documentation of how the college spent three grants awarded to its nursing program, Frosh said in a statement Friday. Each grant required Sojourner-Douglass to report back to the state on actual amounts spent, and to return any unused funds, the office said.

The suit alleges that the college failed to file all the necessary reports for the three grants, which totaled $2,138,460.

For one grant, which extended over five years, Sojourner-Douglass notified the state it wanted to terminate the final year, but it did not give back any unspent funds, according to the suit. Reports for a second grant showed the college did not spent all the funds, but did not return the extra money, the suit says. And for the third grant, the college did not file a report or account for how funds were spent for its final year, according to the Attorney General's complaint.

"Any state grant funds not used for its intended purpose must be returned," Frosh said. "The State of Maryland is rightfully owed the unspent and undocumented funds the college has not used."

The college, located in East Baltimore, closed last summer after losing its accreditation and struggling financially for years. Its president, Charles W. Simmons, said Friday that he was unaware of a problem with the state grants. He said the school continues to work on re-opening.

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