Embattled Royal Oak High School Principal Michael Greening Resigns

Longtime teacher and administrator faces felony embezzlement charges.

Michael Greening, the principal of facing felony embezzlement charges stemming from "the possibility of financial irregularities in student activities funds," has resigned.

According to a statement from the school district:

The School District of the City of Royal Oak has received and accepted a letter of resignation from Michael Greening, Royal Oak High School Principal.    

The resignation is from all employment with the school district and is effective June 30, 2012.

Shawn Lewis-Lakin, Superintendent of Schools, stated: "The letters Mr. Greening and I have exchanged were simple one sentence letters in which he resigned and I accepted his resignation on behalf of the district."

Royal Oak School District Policy authorizes the superintendent of schools to accept resignations.

No additional statements or information will be provided at this time.

Greening is due back in court Friday on, each carrying a maximum five-year penalty and/or fines.

In late December, Lewis-Lakin sent a letter to the school's roughly 1,500 students and their families saying  "due to the possibility of financial irregularities in student activities funds." 

Greening has been with the school district as a teacher and administrator for about 15 years.

Reaction to the news from parents and students was that of resignation and  sadness.

"Money was missing and the person in charge didn't give good answers," said Jeanette Quesada, who has a daughter who is a sophomore at the high school. "They gave him opportunity to supply answers but he couldn't."

Bill LeAnnais, who was a senior class officer last year, said he wasn't surprised by the news. "It just saddens me," he said.

Greening took more than $11,000 over two years from cash deposits intended for the school's student activities account, according to police testimony in April.

The student activities fund includes money from variety of events, clubs and groups such as football, drama club, prom and the Spirit Club.

Royal Oak Police Detective Keith Spencer testified in  in Royal Oak that  he was told the only personnel who had access to the school's safes were Greening and his secretaries and that Greening had sole authority to remove or move funds around in the student activities accounts.

As an example, Spencer said that on Dec. 13, just three days before Greening was placed on leave, an athletic booster’s activity submitted a cash deposit to the main office for $1,243.73. It was noted that a deposit slip had been filled out and signed by Brian Gordon, the school's athletic director and assistant principal.

“The deposit was placed into one of two safes in the vault by the principal’s secretary, Lynne Staszak, to be counted later," Spencer testified. "When Ms. Staszak pulled the money out of the safe to count it, she noted the amount of cash in the deposit was significantly smaller than what it was when she has placed it in the safe."

After counting they money, she noted it was $1,000 short of the original submission.

Gordon noted that the deposit slip he filled out was missing and in its place was one written by someone else for $240.73.

Since Greening was placed on leave, he has enjoyed support from the community, including a with more than 900 members, , a and .

– This story was reported by Royal Oak Patch Editor Judy Davids and written by Associate Regional Editor Beth Valone.

RO Fan June 07, 2012 at 04:42 AM
Whining? I actually thought it was a case of support for a man who was innocent until proven guilty.
Randy Wade June 07, 2012 at 05:48 AM
What does this prove other than that regardless of what happened or what the verdict is, that this man's reputation and standing in the community has been tainted, and that he no longer desires to be a part of it? I know that I sure wouldn't.
Kelly Geyer June 07, 2012 at 11:01 AM
Whining Zach, hardly. I think it was more a conversation amongst folks, voicing opinions and support for a human being, who may or may not have done something illegal.. We have only been presented with one side of the case. Let's wait to hear both sides of the case before we tar, feather and hang this human being and friend to many. Who in the totality of his career, did many good things, but will forever be changed by this particular incident
Nicole June 07, 2012 at 12:13 PM
People are human beings. It's very easy to gossip about others when something he or she did was less than ethical. Mr. Greening was involved with the school for about 15 years. We can all do things that are unethical; some people have the luxery of not being in the public eye and so, certain choices may go unnoticed. Sadly, this news came about, but it is important to remember, no charges have been pressed. This article is just about his resignation. Remember, those who judge are really judging themselves. My thoughts are with the community, including Mr. Greening, at this time.
Don Kevern June 07, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Roya Oak has lost a fine administrator, one deeply loved and respected by his students and staff. Unfortunately, the damage that has been done to his reputation will do long lasting damage to a man who gave so much of himself to the district. He will be sadly missed. Don
Emily Collick June 07, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Judy Davis just personally told me she did not write this article and yet her name is under the title claiming she wrote it...can you say irresponsible journalism?
Beth Reeber Valone June 07, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Emily, Judy did all the reporting on the story and I put together the pieces from the superintendent's statement, the reaction quotes and previously reported information. That is common practice.
Emily collick June 07, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Well your practice is irresponsible.
Emily collick June 07, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Maybe you're name should have been next to it aswell, I called judy because this article disgusted me...you need to claim responsibility too Beth
Susan Love June 07, 2012 at 05:49 PM
I'm curious, Emily, about why this article disgusted you. Most of it is merely repeating news that's already been reported in The Patch and other news outlets. Are you disgusted by the fact the principal may have stolen money that students, parents, and teachers worked hard to raise? I'm guessing not. We'll see what happens tomorrow when he appears in court, but it was inevitable that Mr. Greening resign. Suppose he IS innocent of the charges and is being railroaded for something he didn't do. Why would he want to go back to work for the district after the way he's been treated? Or perhaps he did what he's been accused of. I believe he should have resigned months ago, but held off until the end of the fiscal year in order to receive his full wages and benefits. Whatever the outcome, it's best for everyone, including and maybe especially Mr. Greening, that he resign.
Isaac Garrigues-Cortelyou June 07, 2012 at 09:41 PM
I cannot think that any sort of blame needs to fall to the Royal Oak Patch for their reporting. Yes, I can recognize why a person would be upset about their principal's resignation, but to respond with a tasteless attack on the reporters accomplishes nothing for anybody.
Ray Smith June 07, 2012 at 11:40 PM
He apparently not only "gave" so much to the district, he also took much.
Em collick June 08, 2012 at 04:12 AM
They should of worded it better...he has not stole money nothing has been proved...he court date has yet to come..they should of said allegedly..that's it.
Em collick June 08, 2012 at 04:12 AM
I also don't respect the fact you keep not letting me sign in...that's rude
christine June 08, 2012 at 11:53 AM
Zach, you just look foolish with your "told you so" mentality. I don't know what you get out of that.
Judy Davids (Editor) June 08, 2012 at 12:30 PM
After you sign up, you should receive an email asking you to activate your account. Our records show that was not done so I just activated it for you. You should not have any more problems. If you do, please call me at 248-231-4667 or email me at judy.davids@patch.com and I will try to straighten it out for you.
Bill June 08, 2012 at 02:12 PM
"..Editor Judy Davids and written by Associate Regional Editor Beth Valone"
Bill June 08, 2012 at 02:26 PM
I'm definitely not a Greeningite, but I'm willing to wait to hear his side of the story - if he's willing to tell it. I would recommend withholding one's indignation towards the reporters and the naysayers until we hear the rest of the story - unless of course, you enjoy eating humble pie.
Chris June 08, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Just because the buck stops with Greening doesn't mean Greening took the bucks ... again people forget innocent until "proven" guilty. And God knows no one has EVER been falsely accused or not been able to supply adequate proof to completely remove doubt amongst all people.
ROHS Hockey Fan June 11, 2012 at 10:38 AM
Would an innocent man resign?
Susan Love June 11, 2012 at 11:19 AM
Yes. An innocent man would resign. It's now been six months since Mr. Greening was put on leave and, one way or another, there's a lot of bad blood in the community over this issue. I could easily imagine someone not guilty of such a charge being unable to return to work because the relationship has deteriorated completely on both sides. His employers falsely accused him. They sullied his reputation. Better to start fresh somewhere else. That said, I've read all the news reports with great interest. There is overwhelming evidence (two or three volumes, thousands of pages accumulated over the course of the investigation) that the principal did do what he's accused of. There was lots of complaining after he was put on leave that the police and district were dragging their feet and he should be reinstated, but clearly they weren't. They were making sure they were as thorough as possible and had a strong case before formally charging such a sell-liked and respected member of our community. The fact that his hearing keeps getting postponed is troubling, too. I expect we won't see a trial, but that some deal will be struck. I say this as the parent of a child who graduated from ROHS in 2011 and has been assuming from the outset this was all a misunderstanding. Now I fear it isn't and he made off with tens of thousands of dollars raised by kids, parents, and teachers the whole time he's been principal. And if he did, he needs to be held accountable.
Bill June 12, 2012 at 01:48 AM
Truthfully, if I were innocent, I'd dig in and fight. I'd stay on paid leave as long as possible. If I was bitter over how I was treated, I might consider resigning after I was acquitted. Looks like they're angling for a deal.
Ronald Wolf June 15, 2012 at 07:00 PM
This happens everyday and in much higher positions of responsibility. How can an intelligent man even think he could get away with this comes to mind. His life is ruined even if he were to walk free right now. Don't be too harsh in judgement he has already payed the highest price in humiliation for his alleged crime. Though the court is still out a resignation is usually the first step towards a full confession. Along with any position of authority from Royal Oak to the White House there comes at one time or another the temptation to abuse it.


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