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Agency challenges spending by Women's Business Center
GREENSBURG - The National Education Center for Women in Business may be forced to repay the Small Business Administration as much as $125,000 for questionable expenses.
An SBA audit of the Seton Hill College center, funded by a five-year, $5 million federal grant, challenged spending on a health club membership, travel and the hiring of former director Cynthia Iannarelli's mother.
The audit, which has not been finalized, led to Ms. Iannarelli's resignation last September. At the time, her departure was attributed to a desire to return to her family business in Pittsburgh.
The SBA action is a big blow for the first federally funded academic effort aimed at boosting the ranks and the prominence of female entrepreneurs in America. Experts said the problems could hurt the center's chances for long-term survival and act as a serious distraction to current operations.
As bad as the SBA news is, it could have been worse. Originally, the SBA asked Seton Hill to repay $500,000.
A Seton Hill College official …