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Charter school founder gets prison for theft

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CINCINNATI — A judge has sentenced the founder and former superintendent of an Ohio charter school to four years in prison for stealing money from the state and the school.

Judge Ralph Winkler of Hamilton County Common Pleas Court in Cincinnati on Thursday also ordered 39-year-old Wilson Willard III to repay the state more than $179,000.

Willard pleaded guilty in November to theft and records tampering involving the W.E.B. Dubois school. Prosecutors say he overstated enrollment at DuBois to increase its state subsidy and misused state funds, spending some on home improvements.

Willard said he was sorry for misusing funds and falsifying state documents, but said it was for the school and not for personal gain.

Willard resigned shortly before the charges were filed in 2006. 

 

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