Investigation of former PRP High School principal uncovers finan - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Investigation of former PRP High School principal uncovers financial mismanagement

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Investigators say they have uncovered evidence of financial mismanagement by a former principal of Pleasure Ridge Park (PRP) High School.

Jefferson County Public Schools has wrapped up an investigation into the actions of former principal David Johnson. We're told the investigation uncovered alleged misuse of funds during school-sponsored trips.

Authorities say Johnson traveled to these events, but acted as though they were personal trips, staying at different, more expensive hotels than the students and staff. They say he also ate at different, more expensive restaurants.

For a majority of the trips, Johnson told JCPS officials that he was a chaperone.

In 2011, he traveled to Myrtle Beach to support the PRP baseball and softball team.

Johnson was questioned this past February about what his duties were during the trip.

Johnson stated, "Um, I don't know what the definition of chaperone is if you want me to be that specific, but I attended games, made sure that players and coaches while they were on the field acted accordingly and represented PRP and JCPS in a professional, orderly manner."

"Well, what actually happened was he rented a full size SUV, a 7 passenger SUV, and drove down separately and didn't caravan with the teams. And he stayed at a different condominium while he was down there. And he attended the games each day, but he would eat each meal separate from the team and came back on a different day," said JCPS Director of Accounting Eddie Muns.

JCPS officials say Johnson took two trips to Myrtle Beach, one trip to Chicago, a trip to Lexington and a trip to New Orleans.

Receipts show he spent more than 6 times than the student allowance, ordering 2 or 3 entrees at each meal.

When questioned, documents state that Johnson said he ordered the additional food to take back to the condo or room with him, or paid for other staff who ate with him, although he couldn't recall who actually did.

Paperwork from the investigation shows on some trips, a female friend was added as a driver for his car rental.

School officials say he seemed to be treating himself to luxurious vacations at the expense of PRP.

"Our school leaders are accountable. They're accountable for being fiscal managers that use dollars to benefit kids directly," said JCPS Chief Academic Officer Dewey Hensley.

Johnson has now announced that he plans to retire from JCPS at the end of June.

School officials say he'll be expected to pay back nearly $12,000.

"He will be expected to reimburse every single cent that was utilized for his luxury instead of for kids," said Hensley.

A public database shows Johnson's salary is nearly $145,000.

We're told he was also suspended in 2010 over resurfacing work on the baseball field. Officials say the company that did the work had a conflict of interest with PRP, and that Johnson didn't solicit other bids for the project.

His attorney says he is not commenting at this time.

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