School asks for state investigation

COLDWATER, Mich. - Coldwater Community Schools will ask the Michigan Department of Attorney General to investigate a disagreement between the district and an assistant county prosecutor over an embezzlement case, according to radio station WTVB in Branch County.

The case involves a former Coldwater High School secretary who was charged in 2008 with embezzling $15,000 from various student activity funds, WTVB reported. Chief Assistant Prosecutor Mark Webb proposed that a settlement of $1,000 be paid to the district, after which charges would be dismissed, according to WTVB.

The school board voted to reject the offer and send a letter of rejection to the county prosecutor, but Webb said during a court hearing that former district Superintendent Dale Martin and Trustee Ron Smith had "reluctantly agreed" to it, WTVB reported. Osborne paid the $1,000 and the charges were dismissed in September, the station reported.

Smith and Martin have denied that they agreed to such a settlement, and the school board now has filed a complaint with the Michigan State Bar Grievance Commission and has authorized its attorney to request the State Attorney General to investigate, according to WTVB.

Branch County Prosecutor Terri Norris said there was no misconduct by any member of her staff, WTVB reported.

WTVB-AM 1590, "Coldwater School Board Asks for Investigation of Branch County Assistant Prosecutor," March 23, 2010

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "A Michigan School Money Primer," May 30, 2007