A former principal at a Maryland high school admitted his involvement in stealing $10,000 from the school. The 37-year-old entered a guilty plea to a felony theft charge in Baltimore Circuit Court on March 19.
The court sentenced him to four years of probation and 150 hours of community service work. He was also ordered to repay the money, which he immediately did. He allegedly used the funds to pay for several expenses, including his wedding. He expressed his relief that the ordeal was over.
He has not worked at the school since 2008, but in 2011, he transferred money from the school’s account to his own and into a joint account shared with his fiancée on four occasions over approximately an eight-month period. He was working as an administrator for a college at the time. When authorities initially investigated his involvement in the crimes in late 2012, he told them there must have been a mix up and that the transfers were mistakes.
The office of the state prosecutor investigated his case because it related to corruption and a misuse of public trust. A representative from the office observed that the crime was especially shocking and felt that harsher sanctions were appropriate. Their office requested a two-year suspended prison sentence along with 300 hours of community service.
The Maryland principal could have received harsher penalties, such as those recommended by the state prosecutor’s office. A criminal defense attorney might be able to convince the prosecution or judge in a case to mitigate sentences.
Source: Baltimore News Journal, “Former Baltimore principal pleads guilty to stealing school funds to pay for wedding,” March 20, 2013
Source: Baltimore Sun, “Pilfering principal pleads guilty to $10K student fund theft,” Ian Duncan, March 19, 2013