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S.C. board to discuss Coldstream developer

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The University of South Carolina board of trustees will meet Tuesday in an attempt to unravel the tangled relationship with the former developer of its struggling research campus, Innovista.

University administrators and attorneys are expected to brief the board, in closed session, of the final buyout deal with Kale Roscoe, who also is developer of the Lexhold International Center for Technological Innovation at the University of Kentucky's Coldstream Farm.

Roscoe recently was fired from his job as developer of a building at the University of South Carolina's research park.

His development in Lexington is substantially behind schedule, plagued with unpaid bills and mired in legal wrangles. The Coldstream project was the subject of a story in Sunday's Herald-Leader.

Also probably up for discussion at the South Carolina board meeting is news that Roscoe's son is renting a house in Kentucky from Innovista executive director John Parks, the former director of Coldstream.

The South Carolina board will receive the results of an internal investigation into whether Parks properly vetted Roscoe, who records show served a federal prison term for felony tax evasion in 2003-04.

South Carolina officials and board members, including university President Harris Pastides, have said they were unaware of Roscoe's past.

South Carolina fired Roscoe last month after he couldn't land financing to build a private research building.

"We need to get this behind us," board chairman Miles Loadholt said. "We need to get this project moving."

Neither Roscoe nor university officials would comment Friday about any potential deal to close his contractual arrangement with the school. Roscoe has said he wants back the $650,000 he paid to buy into the deal and the $350,000 he has spent since.

Pastides said Friday he is "very concerned" about news that Parks is renting his 3,000-square-foot Lexington home to Roscoe's son, Derek.

Both Parks and Kale Roscoe confirmed to The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., on Friday that Parks rented the home to Derek Roscoe. Parks and Kale Roscoe worked together at Coldstream before Parks moved to South Carolina.

In an e-mail message, Parks said he leased the house to Derek Roscoe "in February of 2008," just a month before Kale Roscoe was hired to build two private research buildings in South Carolina.

"He pays the rent, which does not cover the mortgage," Parks said in the e-mail.

Kale Roscoe said his son pays $2,850 in rent for the house on Princess Doreen Drive.

"My son leased the house. I didn't lease the house," Roscoe said. "I don't think it was inappropriate. Derek's a big boy, and he doesn't work for Parks."

Pastides said in a written response to questions about the matter that he is "very concerned about it."

When Roscoe was fired, Parks said he had informed Pastides about Roscoe's felony, but Parks later revised his statement to say he informed unnamed university officials.

Roscoe reiterated Friday that he made South Carolina aware of his past, but he would not elaborate.

Pastides has said he was not informed about the felony when Roscoe was hired.

University officials said Friday that the administration wouldn't need board approval to fire Parks. They wouldn't comment on Parks' status, saying it was a personnel issue.

Efforts to reach Parks about his status were unsuccessful.

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