The Citadel’s internal investigation into the handling of a complaint about child molester Louis “Skip” ReVille has been delayed up to three months.

Special Counsel Joe McCulloch said the school’s Board of Visitors had hired two firms to conduct the investigation. But one of those firms had become too expensive. The board has replaced it with another firm, but the switch has delayed the investigation, which originally was to be completed by the end of the year.

The board replaced Manuel, Daniels, Burke International LLC with Margolis, Healy & Associates, McCulloch said. Consultant Anne Franke of Wise Results LLC will continue as the second firm, he said.

He now expects the investigation to be done by the end of March. “I couldn’t have predicted the budget problem,” he said. “We couldn’t get to a workable budget between The Citadel and MDBI.”

The investigation will cost up to $364,000, McCulloch said. Money will come from The Citadel Trust, not state appropriations.

McCulloch is a Columbia attorney whom the board hired in August to work as a liaison between the board and the firms conducting the investigation.

At issue is the decision-making process that occurred in 2007 after a teen accused ReVille of watching porn and masturbating with young boys at The Citadel’s summer camp five years earlier. The school closed the matter without notifying police, following an internal investigation that yielded no action.

ReVille, a Citadel graduate and one of the camp’s counselors, went on to molest a number of children. He is serving a 50-year prison term after he pleaded guilty in June to molesting 23 boys in the greater Charleston area.

Several lawsuits have been filed against The Citadel over its handling of the ReVille case, with victims alleging that the school shirked its duty to report his crimes and allowed him to continue molesting. The Citadel has insisted that is not the case, and that it had no inkling of illegal behavior on ReVille’s part.

Charleston attorney Mullins McLeod is representing several of ReVille’s victims.

“I can’t think of a more important issue facing The Citadel, and here we are a year later, and they haven’t got their act together,” he said. “If this is (Lt. Gen. John) Rosa’s idea of leadership, something is wrong behind those gates.”

Board Chairman Doug Snyder said the board looks forward to having the investigation complete.

The process first was delayed by criminal investigations over which the school had no control, he said.

This most recent delay simply wasn’t anticipated, he said, “but it’s there.” School officials are doing everything possible to make sure the investigation is completed correctly and as soon as possible, he said.

Reach Diane Knich at 937-5491 or on Twitter @dianeknich.