Hubbard’s ABC affiliate KSTP-TV St. Paul, Minn., conducted a six-month investigation that uncovered at least $30,000 in questionable spending by a world-renowned professor of education at the University of Minnesota. Professor Aaron Doering allegedly charged first class flights, expensive meals, vacations and gifts to the university that appear unrelated to his work.
As a result of KSTP’s report, University President Joan Gabel sent an e-mail to all faculty and staff with the subject line "holding ourselves accountable" and asked them to review the university’s expense policy. The university recently launched an internal audit of Professor Doering, but KSTP found administrators were alerted to Doering’s alleged misuse of funds as early as December 2017.
Questionable expenses between 2014 and 2018 included:
$2,300 for a trip to San Jose and Monterey, Calif., to attend a "project meeting." Doering allegedly charged the university for renting a luxury convertible and a plane ticket for his then-girlfriend, Molly Rosenblatt, who he listed as "providing PR consultation." Rosenblatt denies any consultation and provided photos showing the couple was on vacation.
$1,500 for two women’s Canada Goose jackets. Doering listed them as "expedition field supply," but Rosenblatt said the professor gave them to her as gifts in 2018. Rosenblatt provided pictures of her wearing the two jackets and said she did not accompany Doering on any expedition.
$1,200 for a first-class flight to Memphis in 2017 for former fiancée, Nina Orezzoli. Doering claimed it as a "consultant expense," but Orezzoli denied providing consultation.
$900 for a flight to Bali in April 2017. Photos show Doering at a commitment ceremony with Orezzoli.
Nearly $4,000 for three nights in Amsterdam after Doering spoke at a conference in Russia. He said he was conducting research, but Orezzoli said they were there strictly for pleasure. Doering claimed hundreds of dollars in meal expenses and was reimbursed for a luxury hotel stay.
More than $400 for a PlayStation 4, a Star Wars Battlefront video game, and a controller in October 2018. Doering expensed the purchase as "testing equipment." Two women, including ex-wife Amy Matthews, alleged Doering gave them to his son for his birthday.