The former Royal Oak High School principal who was charged with with taking funds from Royal Oak's student activities account has accepted a plea bargain.
Michael Greening, 46, of Royal Oak, pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement of more than $1,000 but less than $20,000 as part of a negotiated plea deal he struck in Oakland County Circuit Court today.
As part of the plea bargain, a second embezzlement count was dismissed, as were two alternative counts. Judge Shalina Kumar ordered a sentencing hearing to be held on Jan. 22 at 10 a.m.
When asked if he had come into possession of money belonging to student accounts and used it for his personal use, Greening, under oath, answered, “Yes.”
Greening resigned from all employment with the school district in June.
As part of the negotiated deal, Greening has agreed to pay $25,880 in restitution. Costs for legal and accounting fees are still subject to determination at a future hearing.
Because Greening has no prior convictions, the sentencing guidelines are low—probation to six months jail time. Assistant Prosecutor Robert Novy did not offer a position on sentencing in court.
Under the law, after five years, Greening is eligible to apply for an expungement proceeding, which allows a person with a single criminal conviction to make his or her records unavailable.
Superintendent Shawn Lewis-Lakin provided this statement:
Our commitment has always been to an objective, thorough, complete, and fair process to resolve this very sad situation. Our internal investigation, the work of external auditors, the police investigation, and the prosecutor's office all came to the same conclusion. Mr. Greening's admission of wrongdoing and his guilty plea move us towards final resolution.
Since January 3, 2012, Royal Oak High School has been under the leadership of Mr. Jim Moll, interim principal. This school year, enrollments in Advanced Placement Courses are at an all-time high, and new supports for students at risk of failure have been implemented. Student achievement is increasing. The school is moving forward. Mr. Moll's service as our interim principal will continue through June 30, 2013. In January 2013, we will begin the hiring process for our next principal.