The Palm Beach County School District is having a rough year. Since last June, it fired one janitor when he was found naked in an orchestra closet
, investigated another janitor who was discovered urinating in a supply room
, had a teacher quit after being busted sleeping with a student, and fired a principal after she was accused of helping a friend steal thousands of dollars' worth of school furniture.
January 26, 2012 | 12:28am
The principal, Plumosa School of the Arts' Priscilla Maloney, was arrested earlier this month and charged with jacking the furniture, money, a laptop, and a saxophone
, according to the Palm Beach Post
. Now, former Palm Beach schools area director Delores Brown has been arrested and charged with grand theft for allegedly taking the furniture and putting it in her funeral home.
According to court documents, the 52-year-old Brown simply drove a moving truck to
Plumosa School of the Arts in Delray Beach and carted off a "black, leather like love seat, black leather chairs, rectangular wooden tables, a podium, projector screens and folding cafeteria style tables." Maloney said she started getting emails asking what the deal was with the missing furniture.
In September, Brown was brought in by police and, according to court documents, pretty much confessed to the whole thing, saying that she had "no problems" providing a statement and that she totally took the furniture, to which the detective responded by saying she should probably give it back.
So she let the detective take more than $25,000 worth of furniture out of her Lantana funeral home, and Brown told him that was the last of it, which he believed until a school district bookkeeper pointed out that there were still ten leather chairs missing. We'll let Special Investigator Michelle Romagnoli explain what happened next:
Detective Mintus made contact again by phone with Brown to inquire about the above described chairs. Brown asked if the investigation included "all of the School District Property that had been taken from Plumosa Elementary School?" Detective Mintus then advised Brown the investigation did in fact include ALL the furniture she had taken and Brown advised she would get back to him.
Almost two weeks later, Brown gave back five leather chairs, and now, almost a year and a half later, she's facing up to five years in prison. Check out Romanogli's statement below for more details.