MATTOON — Candidate Matt Fowler said Monday that he is no longer in the running to serve as Lake Land College’s next president.

The JG-TC contacted Fowler for comment about allegations against the Mt. Carmel resident involving the mishandling of an investment while he worked for Capital Planning Alliance, Inc., 328 Market St., Mt. Carmel, about 12 years ago.

Fowler had no comment about the allegations, but he did say that LLC officials contacted him Thursday to inform him that he is no longer under consideration as one of three finalists to be the college’s next president.

In a 2001 notice from the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), Fowler is accused of incorrectly handling customer funds while at Capital Planning Alliance.

“Fowler consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that he failed to properly handle customer funds in that he received and deposited customer checks made payable to an escrow account over which he had control, and subsequently forwarded the customers’ fund to appropriate clearing firms,” according to the NASD notice. “Fowler’s suspension (from NASD) began Jan. 16, 2001, and concluded at the close of business on Jan. 25, 2001.”

From 1997 to 1998, he apparently sold to at least two customers an investment in a Federal Tax Credit Program which was described as providing a rate of return of 12.75 percent for a 36-month term and a 50-percent tax credit of the investment in the tax year it was made, according to a consent order from the state’s securities office.

Additionally, the investment was described as having a guaranteed buyout provision by Cap Tel Management and Merrill Lynch, the order says. It was also represented that a surety bond protected the investment.

However, it was discovered that Fowler and other representatives failed to register the security with the Secretary of State prior to their offer or sale in Illinois, which is required by state law, according to the order.

The formal allegations for the matter were dismissed after Fowler agreed with the disciplinary actions without denying or accepting the charges.

Letters containing the investment allegation information were sent anonymously to Lake Land College, the LLC board of trustees chairman and the JG-TC office.

Following receipt of the letter last week, LLC board Chairman Carl Hart said, “The Lake Land College Board of Trustees is continuing the presidential search as scheduled.”

However, since Fowler said late Monday afternoon that he will not be the next LLC president, Hart had not returned a phone call to the JG-TC by Monday evening.

Fowler currently is the president of Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel. Prior to taking on the presidency role in 2007, he was the dean of instruction from 2003 to 2007 and a full-time faculty member from 1999 to 2003 at the same institution.

He has a doctoral degree from the University of Nebraska, a master’s in business administration from Morehead State University and a bachelor’s degree in finance from Millikin University.

It is unclear if the other Lake Land presidential candidates — Keith Cornille and Jonathan Bullock, both of Wisconsin — have been contacted regarding an update on the search process at this point.

LLC trustees have scheduled a special meeting at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday with the only agenda item being the announcement of the new president who will take over for current President Scott Lensink when he retires later this year.

Contact Zyskowski at kzyskowski@jg-tc.com or 217-238-6869.

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