Illustration for article titled University Professor Makes It Rain in the Strip Club. Would’ve Been Fine If He Hadn’t Used Grant Money to Do It
Photo: Drexel University

Man, I hate it when black people disappoint me. Especially black educators. I wouldn’t say I get embarrassed when they end up in headlines behind stupid shit; I don’t give credence to the idea that individual black people can represent all that we are as a whole. And I think the notion is racist as hell. But I’m often vexed by the misbehavior of esteemed black people because these are supposed to be the respectable negroes that other respectable negroes say our youth should be looking up to. So there are certain stories that get under my skin, so to speak.

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Such is the case with former Drexel University professor Chikaodinaka Nwankpa who is currently facing criminal charges after allegedly stealing $185,000 in research grant money and spending it on expensive meals, iTunes purchases (I know, I didn’t realize people still used iTunes either) and, of course, because no scandal is complete otherwise, strip clubs.

According to CNN, the 57-year-old professor was the chairman of the university’s Engineering Department. It isn’t clear what the grant money was intended for but, suffice it to say, it never made it to its proper recipients.

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“Mr. Nwankpa inappropriately and criminally diverted tens of thousands of dollars that were allocated for research purposes toward his own private enjoyment. He betrayed Drexel University and tuition-paying students he was paid to educate,” District Attorney Larry Krasner said.

Nwankpa’s alleged spending was noticed when an audit showed multiple unauthorized and “no receipt” purchases made between 2010 and 2017, according to a press release.

Prosecutors believe he spent more than $96,000 on adult entertainment venues and sports bars (he wasn’t making it rain, he was trying to make it hurricane) in addition to more than $89,000 on iTunes purchases, meals and other unauthorized purchases, the district attorney’s office said.

Nwankpa was placed on administrative leave when the investigation began then later, he formally resigned.

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Drexel University, which is in Philadelphia, paid $190,000 in a settlement following a separate federal investigation into Nwankpa’s alleged misuse of grant funds, according to the release. The professor repaid $53,328 to Drexel, prosecutors said in October.

Earlier this week, he was arrested by university police and released on a $25,000 bail. He’s scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Jan. 29.

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Drexel spokeswoman Niki Gianakaris told CNN: “Drexel takes allegations of unethical or unlawful business conduct on the part of any members of the University community very seriously. The University initially reported this situation to the US Attorney’s Office and has worked cooperatively with federal and state investigations into the matter.”

I hope at least he had a damn good time.

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons

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