by: Richard Belcher Updated:
A Channel 2 Action News investigation has learned that a Georgia Tech professor has agreed to repay nearly $50,000 that he improperly took from his own students and a private company.
Belcher used the state open records law to obtain documents the university and the professor and his lawyer intended to keep secret.
It's the end of a shocking tale of a professor who took tens of thousands of dollars intended for graduate students.
In three ceremonies over the weekend, Georgia Tech handed out 2,700 undergraduate and graduate degrees.
The university can't release the names of the four students who were victimized by a now disgraced professor in Environmental Engineering, but Belcher dug out details of the deal that allows him to resign without being fired.
The issue surfaced last fall.
Four graduate students, apparently all of them Asians, complained that the professor overseeing their work was demanding money from them.
In March, Tech's auditors laid out the case against professor Jochen Teizer.
A senior administrator wrote of Teizer: “The most serious of the allegations is that you have demanded substantial sums of money from students and applicants, and that you took that money for your own use.”
More than 100 pages of emails and other records documenting the negotiations between Tech and Teizer's attorney show some were tense.
On Friday, April 4, a Georgia Tech lawyer wrote Teizer's lawyer, “If we are not able to reach a deal by … Monday… Georgia Tech will move forward with dismissal.”
They reached a deal.
Records show four students told Tech they paid the professor amounts from $21,366 down to $800.
And the university said Teizer took $16,387 from a vendor and put it in his personal bank account.
On April 22, Tech acknowledged it had received professor Teizer's check for slightly more than $48,253 to repay his students and the vendor.
The agreement allowed professor Teizer to return to his campus office to reclaim personal belonging which he said included model trains worth $20,000.
His resignation takes effect May 15. Neither side is allowed to comment.
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