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Former Greek Life director Paolo charged with embezzlement at Rhode Island sorority chapter

Published: Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 02:02

 Months after ending her brief tenure at Tufts last winter, former Director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Tanya McGinn Paolo was charged in October with embezzling over $160,000 from the University of Rhode Island’s (URI) Alpha Phi sorority chapter.

Rhode Island State Police arrested Paolo in Rhode Island on Oct. 17, and earlier this month, Paolo attended a pre-trial conference at the Washington County Superior Court, according to Rhode Island Judiciary records. The records state that the case appears to be pending further investigation.

Paolo assumed her position as the head of Greek life on the Hill in the summer of 2010, and Dean of Student Affairs Bruce Reitman confirmed her abrupt departure a few months later in Feb. 2011. Paolo’s exit from Tufts had no connection with the charges brought against her this fall, Reitman said. Complaints regarding her embezzlement were first brought to Rhode Island State Police in March 2011.

“Tanya left Tufts before this incident, and it had nothing to do with Tufts,” Reitman told the Daily in an email. Reitman didn’t elaborate on the reason for her departure out of concern for her privacy.

Former Coordinator of Orientation and Administration in the Undergraduate Orientation Office Jamie Engle served as interim director after Paolo’s departure until the university hired current Director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Su McGlone to replace Paolo in July 2011.

Paolo joined Tufts as the director of Greek life in September 2010 after the position was vacant for a year, during which Reitman served as interim director. The previous director, Patrick Romero-Aldaz, left Tufts to become the director of fraternity and sorority life at the University of South Florida in June 2009.

Paolo’s exit added another disruption to a period of a lack of stable leadership in the Tufts Greek community, according to Eric Swanson (A’12), who served as Inter-Greek Council (IGC) President when Paolo departed.

“When she left, it was a bit frustrating because we had made strides in the past four months,” he said. “One day she was there, and the next she was no longer acting in the position.”

Swanson was surprised about the circumstances surrounding Paolo’s arrest.

“I was shocked to hear [about Paolo’s arrest],” he said. “She was very professional.”

Paolo allegedly embezzled while serving as corporation board president of URI’s Iota Delta chapter of Alpha Phi from 2003 to 2009, according to a Narragansett Patch article. Her position was voluntary, Alpha Phi Executive Director Linda Kahangi said in a statement to WPRI-TV, a local Rhode Island television station.

“Alpha Phi is disappointed to acknowledge the arrest of Tanya McGinn Paolo, a former volunteer, suspected of embezzling funds from Alpha Phi’s local housing corporation at the University of Rhode Island,” Kahangi told WPRI-TV station.

“Because Ms. Paolo’s actions are contrary to Alpha Phi’s policies and values, her membership with the organization has been terminated.”

 

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