USF Dean Admits Role In Bike Theft
TAMPA - An associate dean at the University of South Florida has admitted to taking a student's bicycle this week in a theft that was captured on a surveillance tape and later posted on YouTube.
Abdul Rao, who oversees research grants for the College of Medicine, is on leave with pay until the campus investigation is complete, said USF spokesman Michael Hoad.
In a statement, Rao apologized and said he was trying to help a day laborer who needed transportation.
"I deeply regret this failure in judgment and the unfortunate attention it has generated," he wrote to USF officials. "... I gave a man who does odd jobs for me permission to use a bicycle that was parked at the center. I acted out of compassion for this nearly homeless man; but I failed to consider that the bicycle belonged to someone on our Alzheimer's team."
Rao, who makes $384,000 a year, took the bike on Monday night from a bike parking area on the loading dock of the Johnnie B. Byrd Sr. Alzheimer's Center and Research Institute.