The jury’s still out on exactly what went down in the unexpected death of Karen Pletz…
The one-time, high-flying, former head of the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences was found dead last week in the Ft. Lauderdale condo she was holed up in shortly after midnight.
That after Pletz late 2009 ouster amid accusations she had embezzled more than $1.5 million, falsely claimed deductions of $65,000 in charitable contributions she did not make, got $50,291 in bogus travel reimbursements used for personal travel and entertainment, and using university monies to pay for cosmetic surgery.
In short, Pletz fell from the penthouse to the outhouse, and faced up to seven figures or more in legal fees and slam time, on top of public humiliation.
Raising the obvious question of whether Pletz took her own life.
Even George Washington University professor Margaret Soltan weighed in on Pletz demise.
"Karen Pletz, ex-president of Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences…has died – probably by suicide," Soltan blogs."Pletz was facing immensities of litigation."
Meanwhile, back in Ft. Lauderdale, police await the preliminary results on Pletz from the medical examiner.
"There’s nothing more to say at this point until then," says Fort Lauderdale Police Detective Travis Mandell.
Mandell was on his way out of town for Thanksgiving when, "I suffered the barrage of calls from Kansas City media" he jokes. "I didn’t know you guys had so many television stations."
Despite the keen interest here in Pletz death, Ft. Lauderdale police are treating it as a normal "unknown death," Mandell says. "No one gets preferential treatment."
Pletz husband Jack Pletz – a Jefferson City, Missouri attorney – did not return a call for this column.