Southern hires admitted embezzler to teach accounting


Norman Katz appears in the faculty/staff directory on Missouri Southern’s homepage.

An admitted embezzler has been hired to teach accounting at Missouri Southern.

Norman L. Katz, a former accountant at the William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum in Canton, Ohio, is slated to teach four classes in the accounting department next semester, and is currently teaching a distance learning accounting course.

He was hired in 2002 as a part-time accountant at the museum, according to The Canton Repository, and resigned in 2007 after he was confronted about missing money.

He pleaded guilty in February to a charge of aggravated theft for stealing $129,000 from the museum, and was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay restitution.

Officials at Southern remained mum on the issue Thursday. Dr. AJ Anglin, vice president for academic affairs, said he had been made aware of a possible issue with a faculty member and declined further comment.

Dr. Beverly Block, interim dean of the school of business administration, said Thursday afternoon it was a personnel issue and that she was not at liberty to give any information.

When asked if she was aware of Katz’s embezzlement conviction at the time he was hired, Block responded: “I can’t give you that information.”

She gave the same response when asked if he would still be teaching in the spring semester.

“I’m not sure when I can give you information or if I can give you information,” she said.

Katz was indicted on charges of aggravated theft in June 2008. He entered a not guilty plea the following month and a trial was scheduled for January 2009 before a judge granted a continuance, according to court documents. Katz’s attorney withdrew from the case in May 2009 and was replaced by Kerry O’Brien. In August of that year the case was transferred to a visiting judge, who granted another continuance and set a trial date of Jan. 19, 2010.

Katz pleaded guilty to the charges in February, and was ordered to provide a DNA sample. He made his first payment of $85,000 on Feb. 8 and was officially sentenced two weeks later.

He has paid just shy of $96,000 in restitution, according to documents.

Katz filed a motion on Oct. 20 seeking permission to travel to Missouri for a temporary teaching job. The judge granted Katz permission on Oct. 22. Katz’s attorney argued in court papers that the temporary job in Missouri would allow him to complete restitution payments earlier, according to the Repository.  

According to the newspaper, Katz inflated his work hours and took unauthorized pay raises and overtime pay. He also reportedly took admissions money and stole a $1,000 contribution for a museum fundraising campaign.

According to the spring 2011 schedule of classes, Katz will teach three Principles of Managerial Accounting courses, and one Accounting Information Systems class.

Southern’s 2010-2012 course catalog describes Principles of Managerial Accounting as the “use of accounting as a tool for the process of planning, controlling and decision making. Emphasis on where accounting data is obtained, what kind of information is needed and how it is used in the management process.”

Accounting Information Systems, according to the catalog, is “a comprehensive study of the objectives, uses, evaluation and design of accounting information systems. The course is for students who will soon be assuming the responsibilities of professional accountants and need to know how accounting information systems function.”

Attempts to reach Katz through his University e-mail Thursday afternoon were unsuccessful.