Oklahoma City elementary school principal is on paid leave despite arrest

The principal of Greystone Upper Elementary School turned herself into authorities after she was charged with Medicaid fraud. Cynthia Barchue is on paid leave from the school and is set to retire Jan. 31.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL ccoppernoll@opubco.com Modified: January 23, 2013 at 8:08 pm •  Published: January 24, 2013
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Anonymous letter

The investigation into the Barchues began two years ago, when Oklahoma City Public Schools administrators received an anonymous letter from an employee at Heronville Elementary, where Barchue was principal at the time.

The Barchues were recruiting current and former Heronville students to receive counseling services from them, according to court documents.

District officials turned their investigation over to the attorney general. Because of the criminal investigation, district leaders couldn't take disciplinary action against Cynthia Barchue.

A third person, Michael Fenner Jr., was charged with two counts of Medicaid fraud — a felony and a misdemeanor — at the same time as the Barchues. Fenner is a pardon and parole officer.

Fenner is accused of falsely billing Medicaid for more than $3,000 in counseling sessions that investigators say never happened, according to an affidavit filed in Oklahoma County District Court last week.

Fenner also is an alcohol and drug counselor through YouthCare of Oklahoma.

CONTRIBUTING: STAFF WRITER ZEKE CAMPFIELD