FSU To Return $200,000 After House Speaker Questions Secret Program Allocation

Apr 13, 2017

Jacksonville Sen. Aaron Bean secured $1 million for a firm run by a friend. That money appeared in Florida State University's budget.
Credit LHatter / WFSU News

Florida State University is distancing itself from a controversial appropriation for a program backed by a state Senator. In a letter to House Speaker Richard Corcoran, FSU President John Thrasher says the university did not request money for a program called, “Florida Psychological Associates.”

The firm is run by a friend of Jacksonville Republican State Senator Aaron Bean. The program was first rejected by the Senate, but was later added into FSU’s budget. Reporting from the Naples Daily News shows lawmakers have secured more than $300 million in the past seven years using universities as pass through's.

FSU President John Thrasher says the university did not request the money nor did it know anything about the program. The school did withhold $200,000 for what it calls administrative costs, and Thrasher says it will return that money to the state. Bean is facing an ethics complaint and says he did nothing wrong.

Thrasher’s comments come in response to an information request by House Speaker Richard Corcoran, who made a similar request to Florida Polytechnic University for a hazing program operated by a Miami-based company.