An internal investigation found that unqualified students were admitted and given scholarships to Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law and unearthed allegations of kickbacks to an admissions official. The incidents led to the ouster of university President Austin Lane.

Unqualified students were admitted to and given scholarships at the law school while applications from hundreds of other law school hopefuls were never reviewed, according to the results of a university internal investigation obtained by The Texas Tribune.

Cashier’s checks and money orders totaling more than $13,000 were found stashed under an admission official’s desk calendar, and about $32,000 of school money remains unaccounted for, the report says.

The TSU Board of Regents released a statement about the investigation.

“As state officials, the TSU BOR cannot take a blind eye to fraud in the admissions process and/or the misappropriation of state funds,” the board said. “The student body and community at large expect integrity from the TSU BOR.

The allegations detailed in the 17-page internal audit, dated March 10, set the stage for the ouster of Lane earlier this year. It also examined financial irregularities, including bribes allegedly paid to a law school admissions official, and Lane’s actions in not fully disclosing the incidents to the school’s governing board.

According to the board, several regulatory agencies have either undertaken an investigation of their own or have been briefed about the audit, including the FBI, Harris County District Attorney’s Office, Office of the Inspector General and Department of Education.

“The TSU BOR and other University personnel will continue to cooperate with these external agencies in any ongoing investigations…,” said the board.

Another TSU regent resigns

Hasan Mack, the chair of TSU’s Board of Regents, recently stepped down and has been appointed to serve on another state board, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

His resignation comes on the heels of the departure of former board member Derrick Mitchell, who resigned after saying he had a “different philosophical view” from other board members.

Mack, an Austin attorney and TSU law school alum, was appointed to the board in 2018.

The Texas Tribune contributed to this article.