Affidavit: West Texas university's CFO admits embezzlement

PLAINVIEW, Texas (AP) - A West Texas university has fired its chief financial officer amid accusations he used the school's money to pay off debts he and his wife incurred.

Wayland Baptist University in Plainview confirmed Thursday it has dismissed James E. Smith. An affidavit submitted with a lawsuit filed this week by the university says Smith admitted embezzling about $40,000 over a four-year period.
The affidavit says officials became concerned after a financial review of recent campus construction pointed to irregularities. Executive Vice President and Provost Bobby Hall says in the affidavit that Smith admitted his involvement and says he was unable to repay the university.
Smith was suspended in March and fired earlier this month. He had been chief financial officer since 2001.
Smith could not be immediately reached for comment.

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