PROVIDENCE—Daniel E. Doyle, Jr., the former executive director of the Institute for International Sport (IIS), has been indicted on 18 counts of embezzlement, obtaining money under false pretenses, and forgery. Doyle has been the subject of much public scrutiny since his mishandling of $575,000 worth in state grant money, which was allocated in 2007 for new construction on the institute’s property and remains unfinished.
The arraignment marks the end of a long criminal investigation by the Rhode Island State Police which delved into every aspect of Doyle’s personal and professional life.
“The investigation by the [RISP’s] Financial Crimes Unit and the Office of the Attorney General included reviewing thousands of documents and interviewing numerous witnesses,” read the Attorney General’s press release. “Investigators learned that Doyle personally obtained more than $1 million in unauthorized salary increases, bonuses and personal expenses paid by Institute funds.”
The RISP further concluded that the personal expenses included payments to Bates College in Maine and Kingswood Oxford School in Hartford, Conn. Doyle also made payments towards his daughter’s tuition at Oberlin College in Ohio with IIS monies. This activity has resulted in seven counts of embezzlement against Doyle.
Doyle has also been charged with one count of obtaining money under false pretenses of more than $1,500, as well as five counts of forgery after falsifying documents in the IIS’s annual financial report for years 2005 to 2009. Five counts of filing a false document on the Institute’s 2005 annual financial report has also been charged to the former executive director.
Scrutiny of Doyle’s activities as executive director at IIS began in February 2012 when Auditor General Dennis E. Hoyle conducted an investigation and report regarding complaints that the proposed construction of the Hassenfeld-Hogg Center for Sports Leadership building on the IIS site at 3045 Kingstown Road remained continuously unfinished, even though he had received a $575,000 grant to complete the structure.
Doyle presented the auditor with fake e-mails and testimonies from supposed Institute staff members in defense of the beleaguered organization, and Hoyle had found the Institute’s finances to be troubling at the time.
“Normal financial accountability measures appropriate for an entity of the Institute’s size were not evident during the course of our review,” stated Hoyle’s report from March 2012. “We noted various situations which we believe are indicative of a general lack of financial accountability within the organization.”
“The Institute needs to significantly improve its financial accountability, particularly since it is largely dependent upon grants and other support from governmental and private organizations,” it continued. “The Institute should implement appropriate financial control measures along with routine oversight processes and procedures (e.g., independent annual financial audits).”
The RISP’s criminal investigation subsequent to Hoyle’s audit has further inculpated Doyle and the Institute’s fiscal misdeeds, discovering that the 64-year-old Connecticut resident had been mishandling the Institute’s finances in order to further his own stature for many years since he found the organization in 1986.
The University of Rhode Island has also been criticized for its relationship with the Institute, an organization which rests on campus property, although Doyle has since repaid a further debt of $380,846 owed to URI.
A 1988 verbal agreement between Doyle and the university, which stipulated that although Doyle was recognized as an employee, his salary and benefits would be reimbursed through the state and the Institute, was formalized in writing on July 1, 2000. The Auditor General’s report of March 2012 had cited the practice as questionable and suggested it should not be conducted in such a way in the future.
URI President David M. Dooley addressed the situation at a media breakfast in November 2012, stating that the university had no more knowledge of the State Police’s investigation than the general public.
“[IIS] is not a URI unit,” said Dooley at the time. “They lease land from us, but the building is theirs, the operation is theirs, and really we have no oversight and no involvement in those operations at all.”
“We know as much about that really as you do,” he added.
In May 2012, URI hired Providence attorney John A. MacFadyen to provide additional legal counsel for the university to assess its other public and private partnerships and to identify potential vulnerabilities. Linda Acciardo, director of Communications and Marketing at URI, stated Tuesday that the university has not needed MacFadyen’s services.
“We hired him to represent us should we have any need for legal representation regarding the Institute, but we have not needed his services since we hired him last year,” said Acciardo.
Dooley also stated in November that he would not let the bad experience surrounding Doyle and the IIS hinder URI’s ambitions in the future to seek partnerships with outside businesses and organizations.
“From the URI standpoint, what we need to do in our broad range of partnerships is make sure that we are following our own processes, have appropriate oversight and accountability, and doing things in the way we should to ensure those partnerships are successful,” said Dooley. “I don’t want to curtail our partnerships as a result of one bad experience.”
“It is important for us to be at the table with non-profits, businesses, and communities from all over the state,” he added. “We are constantly developing partnership agreements and want to make sure we are doing that right.”
Doyle has even released a novel, titled “An African Rebound,” while embroiled in the criminal investigation and now arraignment. The book is described as “A deep, thought-provoking novel of love, loss, civil unrest and basketball.” According to the book’s description, the novel is set in 1989 and tells the tale of Jim Keating, a former college basketball coach who lost his wife to cancer, and his house to bankruptcy, “has hit absolute rock bottom.”
The story goes that Keating then returns to his hometown of Worcester, Mass.
“Word gets out that the legendary Jim Keating has returned home, and everyone is eager to see him, despite what they’ve read in the news,” the description reads: “Soon, Jim finds himself in Burundi, Africa, where he is to create a basketball league that will bring two warring tribes – the Hutus and the Tutsis – together peacefully.”
Officials from the Attorney General’s Office and the RISP declined to detail further the criminal investigation other than what was stated in their joint press release.
With reports from Maria Shanahan