Ex-Edison board member speaks out
Edison board member who resigned speaks out on course swapping scandal. Video by fox4now.comvideo
FORT MYERS - The former top dog on the Edison Board of Trustees is speaking out about a course swapping scandal first uncovered by Fox 4.
Dr. David Klein's backyard garden is a far cry from the thorny scandals facing him on the board of trustees.
"When you start hearing about degrees that are just being ground out," he told us back in March, "than you start to worry."
Four months later Edison administrators admit the illegal course swapping took place to boost graduation rates.
"It's just another slap," said Klein. "Another black eye that's going to have to be fixed."
As vice chairman, Klein was second in command on the board overseeing Edison. So where was the oversight?
"Could you understand why people might think you guys are at the top and so disconnected from what's going on at the rest of the college?" asked Fox 4 reporter Matt Grant.
"I think disconnected is the proper word," said Klein. "They need to get reconnected."
Klein admits he should have asked more questions and paid closer attention.
"I just went to the meetings, I raised my hand, I said yes, yes," said Klein. "And then I would leave and go back to my day job...the job's going to have to be more of a job than just some fun you have every month."
But the fun's over. Klein says the board needs to get more involved to save Edison's reputation and it's re-accreditation after this course swapping scandal.
"Do you think there was an effort to cover it up?," asked Grant.
"Probably yeah," said Klein. "The only question is who knew what...I'm sure some people knew about it and said oh man we can't let this come out right now we have enough trouble."
Klein resigned at the height of our investigation several months ago. He stepped due to family reasons but also because he was fed up.
Now he says he wants to "eventually" return to the board of trustees in the future, with eyes open.
"I'm not gonna just sit there and not my head anymore," said Klein. "You have to ask questions. You can still miss something but at least it'll look like you tried."
Reports indicate the college allowed more than 3,000 course swaps over a five year period affecting 2 percent of students.
MATT GRANT, REPORTER