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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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Bell showed the results of her investigation to Superintendent Karl Springer, prompting him to write a letter to the school board recommending Stewart's termination.

“The lack of adherence to District Policy, Oklahoma School Law and Federal Program guidelines lead to the recommendation for dismissal of Stewart,” Springer wrote. “Inappropriate use of public funds is unacceptable in the Oklahoma City Public Schools district. Such action by this board and myself, however uncomfortable, is required to retain the communities' trust and confidence.”

Stewart told the board she acknowledges she didn't follow some procedures while managing school funds but argued she has made up for all money lost under her supervision.

“I have done this job for 15 years in this district,” Stewart said during the meeting. “The reason why I do this job is to educate children. I have given more money than what I've been accused of misappropriating just this year.”

Stewart worked at Bodine Elementary, 5301 S Bryant Ave., for one year. She was previously the principal of Van Buren Elementary School, starting in 2005.