GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) -- The leaders of a southern New Jersey university have hired a law firm to conduct a "comprehensive investigation" into the school's purchase and proposed sale of shuttered casino.

Showboat Casino Hotel (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

The Press of Atlantic City reports the Stockton University Board of Trustees approved a contract Wednesday of up to $350,000 with Gibbons P.C.

During the board meeting, Chairman Dean Pappas said the purchase of the former Showboat Casino was made for "all the right reasons." But he said the obstacles facing the site are so great that the best move for the college is to complete the proposed sale to Florida developer to Glenn Straub.

Pappas also said the trustees would be working to install safeguards to prevent a recurrence of the issues now facing the college.

Stockton has been embroiled in a legal dispute over a covenant on the Showboat site that requires that it only be used as a casino hotel.

Pappas also announced at the meeting that he would be stepping down as the board's chairman due to a serious health issue, but did not provide further details.

Pappas will remain on the board, which will now be led by Madeline Deininger. She had been the board's vice chairman.

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