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Oklahoma City elementary principal loses job after funds investigation

The Oklahoma City School Board voted Tuesday to fire Bodine Elementary Principal Veleasha Johnson Stewart, 46, following an investigation into allegations she mismanaged school funds.
BY KYLE HINCHEY khinchey@opubco.com Modified: June 11, 2013 at 10:55 pm •  Published: June 12, 2013
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During a special meeting Tuesday evening, the Oklahoma City School Board voted to fire the principal of Bodine Elementary, following an investigation into her management of public funds.

District officials have led an investigation against Veleasha Johnson Stewart, 46, since February to determine whether the principal negligently managed school funds. Teri Bell, executive director of students' support services, headed the investigation. Bell told the board the investigation revealed fundraising activities with inadequate or no documentation for received donations that were deposited into the school activity fund.

Under Stewart's leadership, Bodine Elementary, at 5301 S Bryant, carried out multiple fundraising events during the past year. According to district policy, raised funds are required to be deposited into the activity fund. Bell interviewed school faculty and learned most teachers were unaware of what happened to the raised funds because the money could not be found in the activity fund.

Stewart also was accused of using school funds for at least one of the fundraising activities as well as wrongfully charging admission to parents.

Additionally, Bell investigated claims that a $700 Kmart gift card the school won from a Facebook contest went missing under Stewart's care. She found that Stewart used her own money to replace the gift card and distributed it to Bodine's teachers instead of asking her supervisors what she should do with the money.

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