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UW won't use state money to cover foundation's debts

Wisconsin State Farmer
An electricity-
generating project powered by cow manure is one of the investments that is the subject of a lawsuit against two former officials of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. A biodigester system at the Rosendale Dairy in Fond du Lac County was funded by the foundation.

MADISON (AP) - A University of Wisconsin Board of Regents member says taxpayer money will not be tapped to cover debts of the financial troubled UW-Oshkosh Foundation.

Regent Michael M. Grebe said in a statement Tuesday, June 27, that it would be inappropriate to use taxpayer dollars to cover debts caused by the foundation's inappropriate real estate projects. Grebe says university officials continue working with foundation leaders to "work through the financial realities" the foundation faces.

The state Department of Justice is investigating the real estate projects, which were the subject of a lawsuit the UW System filed in January against former Chancellor Richard Wells and his chief business officer.

The lawsuit alleges that they improperly funneled $11 million in university money into the projects through the private foundation.

The foundation owes money to banks for three of the five projects under state investigation: the $12.5 million conference center and two "green" energy biodigesters, including one on campus and one at the Rosendale Dairy in Fond du Lac County.