A member of the Alabama State University Board of Trustees who faced a possible ethics probe resigned this week.
Dr. Lawrence Lemak, a Birmingham orthopedic surgeon, had held a seat on the ASU Board since 2003, when then-Governor Bob Riley appointed him to the board and the Alabama Senate confirmed the appointment.
A disgruntled Alabama State University employee, Jay C. Coleman, had filed an ethics complaint against Lemak earlier in 2013. The complaint alleged that Lemak had used his office for personal gain because of funds directed by ASU to the National Center for Sports Safety, a non-profit organization founded by Lemak. His son serves as the Chairman of the NSCS Board.
[DOCUMENT: Dr. Lemak's resignation letter (.pdf)]
The complaint was filed with the Alabama Ethics Commission. The Ethics Commission does not comment on even the existence of a complaint. Lemak's attorney would not confirm or deny whether state investigators had been in contact with his client when he was reached last month.
An attorney for Lemak also denied that his client had committed any wrongdoing.
Lemak had been noticeably absent at board meetings during a turbulent time for Alabama State. He did not attend any of the meetings surrounding the departure of former ASU President Dr. Joseph Silver, who agreed to leave the school last December.
A doctor did diagnose Dr. Lemak with oral cancer in October 2012 and he underwent treatment but he did not cite his illness as a reason for leaving the board.
Silver had raised questions about contracts and expenditures at the university and was placed on paid administrative leave by the Board of Trustees last November.
Lemak did not attend any meetings of the board during the period November 25-April 1.
Lemak is the second ASU Board member to resign since the beginning of 2013. Kathy Sawyer submitted her resignation to Governor Robert Bentley last January.
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