Lyles Center executive director resigns in liue of investigation

Following reports of an investigation of Dr. Timothy M. Stearns and possible financial conflicts of interest, Stearns resigned from his position Monday as executive director of the Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

“Dr. Timothy M. Stearns has offered his resignation as executive director of the Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Fresno State,” according to a Fresno State press release. “With his resignation, he has accepted a temporary appointment as special assistant to the provost until June 30, 2016. Provost Lynnette Zelezny made the announcement today.”

June of 2015, Fresno State President Castro requested an audit to look into any possible conflicts of interest in Stearns’ relationship as Lyles Center director and partner in his side corporation, Kids Invent.

The audit reports came back with questions about at least $15,000 of unaccounted for money from Stearns’ Paypal account, which he reportedly established between his Kids Invent Corporation and the Lyle Center.

The conflicts beyond the unaccounted for money included Stearns’ hiring of his business partners in the Lyle Center, who also apparently performed work to benefit Lyle’s Kid, Invent Corporation.  

“Stearns will assist the provost in correction of the audit findings recently released by the California State University Office of Internal Audit, facilitate transition for new leadership of the Lyles Center and provide assistance in the planning of the upcoming 10-year anniversary of center’s location on campus,” the press release continued. “He will continue as a faculty member in the Craig School of Business.”

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