OKC Elementary School Principal Fired For Mismanagement Of Funds

Wednesday, June 12th 2013, 5:32 pm
By: News 9

The Oklahoma City Board of Education voted to remove a principal from her post after a lengthy investigation into her management of funds.

Veleasha Johnson Stewart was fired after one year as principal at Bodine Elementary School at the recommendation of the district's top administrators.

Oklahoma City Public Schools launched the investigation into how Stewart handled donated funds given to her school after an anonymous letter brought up allegations that she mishandled the money, including a $700 dollar gift card.

"We believe that we have accounted for the funds that were in question, to the extent that that was possible," explained Superintendent Karl Springer. "We have to hold out people accountable for how we manage the funds in this school district."

Superintendent Springer explained that there was a bigger issue at hand in this case, the public's trust and the district's accountability. There are specific laws, statutes and district policies for handling money in the district so that the public can see where its money goes. When rules are broken, like in this case, there are consequences.

"We want to make sure that we have the community understanding that we take every cent that this district gets seriously and we will protect those dollars just like we protect the children in the district."

Springer said Stewart did not keep track of the money with receipts for things like donations made to the school. In his opinion, and that of the investigation team, this was not just a mistake.

"Good people sometimes don't follow the policies and procedures and statutes and laws. This situation is over and we're looking forward to getting Bodine Elementary School back on the right track."

News 9's efforts to reach out to Veleasha Johnston Stewart were unsuccessful.