February 18, 2009

USF official steps down after bike theft

A University of South Florida official announced he will resign after he was accused of stealing a $100 bike that was parked at the school.

Abdul Rao, senior associate vice president for research, said Tuesday that he has signed a document stating that he will leave his $384,280-per-year position at the school Friday, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times reported Wednesday.

Rao previously said in a statement that he took the bike from a parking area on the loading dock of the Johnnie B. Byrd Sr. Alzheimer's Center and Research Institute to help a day laborer in need of transportation, The Tampa (Fla.) Tribune reported.

The security tape of the incident, which was later posted on Youtube, shows a woman leaving a red mountain bike in the parking area at 2 p.m. Monday. At about 8:50 p.m., Rao and another man arrive in a van and look at the bicycles before choosing the bike left by the woman and loading it into the van.

Christine Dillingham, the woman who parked the borrowed bike at the school, told the St. Petersburg Times that she basically wanted to see (Rao) take responsibility for his actions. Stepping down seems to show he did that.

Timothy Boyd, who had loaned the bike to Dillingham, said Rao told him after the bike was returned that he had only intended to borrow it for one day. However, Boyd said he wants Rao charged with theft.