Delaware principal charged with stealing thousands

An elementary school principal faces charges he stole thousands of dollars from fundraisers and the school’s PTA.

Delaware State Police say 43-year-old Jacob Getty Jr. of Wilmington, Principal of Harry O. Eisenberg Elementary School in New Castle, has been charged with several counts of theft. 

According to detectives, Colonial School District administrators reported the suspected theft of school funds on October 3rd.  The investigation revealed that Getty misappropriated funds from several book fairs held at the school starting in 2009.  He also had authorization to write PTA checks, and police say he wrote 11 pre-signed checks totaling over $4,000 and kept money not only for himself, but used the stolen money to pay a bill owed to a fundraising company. 

Investigators say Getty was confronted about some of this activity the fall of 2009.  It’s alleged that he also kept money raised during fundraising events held at the school in September 2010 and in May of this year.

In all, Getty is charged with pocketing over $18,000. 

After obtaining warrants, troopers arrested Getty over the weekend.  He has been arraigned and released on $12,000 unsecured bail.  Getty faces four counts of theft over $1,500 and two counts of theft under $1,500.

Colonial School District Superintendent Dr. Dorothy Linn said Getty has been removed as principal of the school in New Castle.  Further action will be determined by the outcome of the criminal case. 

“I am both deeply saddened and outraged,” Linn said. She added that the district is cooperating fully with investigators.

The district has internal financial reporting procedures, but the incident is leading to a district-wide audit of all schools and a review of policies and procedures regarding the handling of fundraising dollars.

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