Baltimore City school principal sentenced to 90 days in prison for theft of school money

Liz Bowie
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun

The former principal of Baltimore Community High School was sentenced Friday to three months in prison for stealing money from a school bank account as well as school system technology, according to the Maryland state prosecutor.

Leslie N. Lewis, 45, pleaded guilty in December to two counts of theft for taking more than $58,000 from the Baltimore City school system.

According to prosecutors the school had a bank account that was set up with the proceeds from the sale of school uniforms, snacks, school supplies and graduation fees. Lewis used a debit card to make cash withdrawals and purchases at local casinos of about $13,000.

In a second case, she used deceptive purchase orders to steal over $45,000 worth of technology from the city through its internal purchasing system between 2013 and 2016. The statement of fact states that she stole a dryer, a Bose speaker system, Apple laptops, laser printers, digital cameras and other items for her personal use.

Lewis is the third city principal to be convicted of stealing from student activity funds since 2013. In October 2015, Alisha Trusty, the former principal of Western High School, pleaded guilty to stealing $54,000 from the school’s activity fund.

In March of 2013, William Howard II, the former principal of Coppin Academy, pleaded guilty to stealing more than $10,000 from his school’s activity fund.

The case against Lewis was begun after the city school system’s legal counsel referred the case to the state prosecutor.

Baltimore City Circuit Judge Charles Peters sentenced Lewis to five years for each count of theft, but suspended all but 90 days on each count, according to the state prosecutor’s office.

The sentences are to be served concurrently. She will serve five years of supervised probation and be required to pay restitution to the school system of $58,689.

liz.bowie@baltsun.com

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