Charter Operator Fined $195,000 after Stealing $1.2 Million from Ohio; Judge Blames State

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports this morning that Romey Coles Jr.—superintendent and board member of the Lion of Judah Academy charter school—who had plead guilty to one count of having an unlawful interest in a public contract and one count of money laundering, was sentenced yesterday to five years of probation and a fine of $195,000 owed to the state.

“According to prosecutors, the academy from 2006 to 2011 took in almost $5.8 million from the state and federal government and $1.2 million of it was spent illegally, including items that were purchased for the school but went to the Church of the Lion of Judah, where Coles was a bishop and his wife was a pastor.”

The sentencing judge, Janet Burnside, “said she didn’t see a prison sentence as proper in the case because she felt the state didn’t properly anticipate the mistakes that could be made when citizens or nonlawyers tried to run charter schools.”

The defense attorney told the court that while his client had good intentions when opening the Lion of Judah Academy, he “got greedy when he saw easy opportunities to make money.”

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One thought on “Charter Operator Fined $195,000 after Stealing $1.2 Million from Ohio; Judge Blames State

  1. Isn’t that cute! I would love to talk to Judge Burnside about this. We all busted our butts to get her elected back many years ago. Perhaps she is saying these folks are too dumb to be tackling such an important job or was it that the Bishop was too vulnerable when faced with cherries easy to pick? Gale

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