UT Southwestern will pay up to $140,000 to calculate how much its former president, Dr. Kern Wildenthal, owes the medical center for spending public dollars on personal travel, a university spokesman says.
Meanwhile, Wildenthal was named late last week as a director at a company owned by major UTSW donor Harold Simmons.
Audit firm Grant Thornton LLP has already started reviewing Wildenthal’s travel expenses, UTSW spokesman Tim Doke said. The effort, conducted by the firm’s Dallas office, is estimated to take about five weeks.
Taxpayers are already paying $500,000 for an initial, outside review of Wildenthal’s expenses. That one, commissioned by UT System headquarters in Austin, was triggered by a Dallas Morning News investigation and broadly tracked The News’ findings. The News identified $720,000 in UTSW-funded expenses, mostly between 2005 and 2010, that were poorly documented, had no tangible benefit to UTSW, or closely tracked Wildenthal’s personal interests in foreign travel, wine and opera.