Pasco County authorities say a Land O' Lakes elementary-school principal stole money from a 9-year-old student with special needs.
Deputies say a student at Connerton Elementary School brought $2,100 of his parents' money to the school on October 22 for unknown reasons. They say that faculty at the school soon became aware of the cash, so they obtained it from the child, counted it, and locked it in the office of principal.
The child's mother came to school four days later to retrieve the money, at which point deputies say the principal handed her a quantity of cash and sent her on her way. However, they say that she realized that he had only given her $1,200 after she counted it on her way to her vehicle.
Assuming that there had been a mix-up, the mother spoke to her son's teacher. However, according to deputies, they ruled out the possibility of an error. The mother then contacted police, and an investigation ensued.
Detectives interviewed all parties and determined that the principal counted the money, removed $900 of it, squirreled it away in a speaker on a shelf in his office, and ultimately handed the remainder over to the mother. According to investigators, he said at one point that the special-needs child may have placed it in the speaker, but recanted after a deputy pointed out that the speaker was too high off the ground for most 9-year-old children to easily reach.
The principal was booked into the Pasco County Jail on November 8 on one count of grand theft. He was released later that day after posting a bond of $2,000.
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