Burnett denies 'self-benefit,' gives no details on Young dealings Coppin leader expects more talks with regents

January 15, 1998|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Coppin State College President Calvin W. Burnett said yesterday that he won't discuss details of his relationship with embattled state Sen. Larry Young, but stressed it did not involve "self-benefit."

"I've always operated on the philosophy of doing what's right," Burnett said in a brief interview. "There's been no self-benefit in any of this.

"I like what I see when I look in the mirror."

He said he expected "further discussions" with the University System of Maryland's board of regents, which on Tuesday widened the scope of an internal audit of Coppin's dealings with the West Baltimore senator.

Burnett said that on his lawyer's advice, he would not comment further.

XTC University auditors are to report their findings to the regents at their next meeting, Feb. 6. Under examination are $34,500 in payments to Young since 1996 from the public college.

A General Assembly ethics committee recommended Monday that the state Senate vote on whether to expel Young from his seat, a vote that will be held tomorrow.

Among the committee's findings: There is no evidence Young performed the services for which he was paid by Coppin. The only evidence that Young did any work for Coppin, the committee's report said, was the senator's invoices.

And many of the services that Young claimed to have performed for Coppin "fall into the category of the normal constituent service routinely provided by Maryland legislators," the report said.

It also found that Burnett gave Young a raise last spring from $4,000 a month to $5,000 a month.

Last month, after The Sun reported on Young's business dealing, the regents halted payments on the consulting contract.

Burnett, 65, has been Coppin's president for 28 years and is among the longest-serving college presidents in Maryland.

Pub Date: 1/15/98

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