Former city principal charged with stealing from student fund

A former principal at Coppin Academy High School in Baltimore was charged Thursday in the theft of more than $10,000 from a student activity fund at the school in 2011 — three years after he last worked there.

William L. Howard Jr., 37, who is currently assistant vice president for academic services at St. Mary's College of Maryland, was charged by a city grand jury with four counts of felony theft and one count of misdemeanor theft in connection with unauthorized transfers from the high school's activity fund to accounts in his personal control, according to the Office of the State Prosecutor.

"Stealing from a Student Activity Fund set up for the students of Coppin Academy is a reprehensible offense and simply cannot be tolerated," said State Prosecutor Emmet C. Davitt in a statement.

Howard, reached Thursday night at his St. Mary's email account, declined to comment.

The total theft alleged is $10,300, stolen through four transfers between April 5, 2011, and Nov. 30, 2011, prosecutors said. The theft was reported to the state prosecutor's office by Baltimore City Public Schools officials, prosecutors said.

Howard left Coppin Academy in 2008, prosecutors said.

Edie House Foster, a schools spokeswoman, said school officials are still reviewing the transactions and could not comment on how Howard had access to the activity fund so long after he'd left the school.

Officials at St. Mary's College of Maryland did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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