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Wildenthal Thanks Friends, Rips ‘False’ Info

Dr. Kern Wildenthal, target of a sort of guilty-until-proven-innocent jihad by Dallas’ daily newspaper over his expense reporting, has thanked friends and supporters for standing by him in the face of the “misleading and false information.”

In an email sent yesterday afternoon, the former president of UT Southwestern Medical Center referred to a recent “Open Letter” of support that appeared as an ad in both the Dallas Morning News and the Austin American-Statesman. The ad was signed by hundreds of prominent Dallasites, including former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and her husband Ray, Laura Miller and Steve Wolens, Caren Prothro, Ruth and Dr. Ken Altshuler, and—this one had to sting the DMN— Mrs. Burl Osborne.

Said Wildenthal in his email:

The organizers of the “Open Letter” felt that its publication was necessary because, with one exception, media stories concerning the recent reports from an independent external auditing and accounting firm (Grant Thornton LLP) and from the UT System’s newly appointed chief of internal audits had neglected to provide a balanced and fair account of the key findings and central conclusions of the auditors’ reports.

The fundamental conclusions of the new external and internal reports were similar to all the official UT System and UT Southwestern audits that had been conducted in previous years – namely, that my activities, expenses, documentations, and reimbursements were reasonable and appropriate; were of clear benefit to UT Southwestern; and were in conformance with UT rules and standards. These findings were as expected, but it was nevertheless very gratifying to have them confirmed and finalized. As the “Open Letter” noted, the auditors determined that the few over-reimbursements I had inadvertently received through clerical errors and oversights over the last ten years ($6,176) were actually outweighed by fully substantiated, reimbursable expenses which would properly have been paid by UT Southwestern, but for which I had paid personally ($17,139).

For some individuals it would no doubt be of interest for the recent reports of Grant Thornton and the UT System to be described and analyzed in detail, along with explanations of how these in-depth reviews have answered and corrected earlier mistakes, omissions, and misinterpretations (and I can provide this if anyone wishes to know more details). However, I have come to realize that perpetuating a public debate on this issue is fruitless.