Robert J. Gee, former president of the Falmouth-based non-profit educational institution, the National Graduate School for Quality Management, Inc. (NGS), is being sued by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office for allegedly collecting excessive compensation, along with other perks from the school, without the board of directors’ approval.
Coakley and her office filed the lawsuit against Gee on Tuesday in Suffolk Superior Court.
“We allege that Gee has continually abused his position as the head of this non-profit organization by collecting an exorbitant salary for years, as well as receiving other lavish perks totaling millions of dollars,” Coakley said in a statement. “This extreme breach of trust has been detrimental to the school, whose financial stability has been significantly damaged.”
According to the lawsuit, Gee was receiving a level of compensation that was not comparable to his peers or reasonable based on the school’s size or assets. In 2008, his compensation allegedly totaled more than $700,000. The complaint also alleges that Gee received benefits that included a timeshare in the Caribbean, private property in Falmouth, and several luxury vehicles. These purchases were said to have been made with NGS funds and without approval from the school’s board.
Gee, who founded the school in 1997, was removed as president and then fired in 2012 after a Globe review of the school's annual tax returns and audit reports found that Gee had long been dipping into the school's coffers to fund a lavish lifestyle.
The attorney general also entered into an agreement with NGS on Tuesday requiring them to create a new board of directors and file reports that will be monitored by Coakley’s office.
“The directors breached their fiduciary duty by failing to implement an internal process to oversee and approve Gee’s compensation and other benefits,” said Coakley in a statement. “Through this agreement, the school will be forced to create an entirely new board of directors and will be subject to very strict reporting requirements.”
Gee is not the only former college president accused of lavish spending. Former Westfield State University President Evan Dobelle announced he was retiring last November amid allegations of his own excessive spending of university funds. Dobelle has since filed a lawsuit against three of Westfield State University’s trustees and the state’s Higher Education commissioner, WCVB reports.