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VIDEO: Royal Oak Principal Michael Greening Arraigned on Embezzlement Charges

Michael Greening was charged in 44th District Court with two counts of embezzlement, both felony charges.

Principal Michael Greening was arraigned Friday afternoon on two felony embezzlement charges, each carrying a maximum five-year penalty and/or fines.

Greening appeared before 44th District Court Judge Terrence Brennan, who entered a plea of not guilty on Greening's behalf.

Greening was released on $50,000 personal recognizance with conditions, including that he not leave the state.

Greening appeared in court with his attorney, Paul Stablein of Royal Oak.

It has been more than three months since Superintendent Shawn 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." Since that time, no new information has been made available from either the Royal Oak Police Department or the school district.

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

"I will be shocked if these charges stick," said Patrice Walsh, a longtime Royal Oak resident with two kids at Royal Oak High School. "I have never heard a bad word about Mike Greening. He is an upright guy and I am one of a huge group of Greening supporters who want this mess to be over so our high school and his family can get back on track."

Lewis-Lakin issued this statement on Friday afternoon:

Our commitment has been to a process that is complete, thorough, impartial, and fair.

The investigation initiated by the district at the end of December, the findings of a forensic audit, and the work of the Royal Oak Police Department and Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office are all aspects of such a process.

Mr. Greening was placed on a paid administrative leave at the beginning of this process, and continues on that paid leave today. At this time, no new determination has been made regarding his employment status. There are procedural requirements and standards for making determinations in the employment process for school personnel, which will guide us as we move forward.

A preliminary exam is set for April 27 in 44th District Court.

James Guido April 21, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Randy, would you please inform me on what was so inappropriately handled in this situation?
Sandy Gossett April 21, 2012 at 02:48 AM
So "Guido"....I am one of those "Save Greening" people and what is so wrong supporting and believing in the good and moral side of any human being? Especially when the human being in question is someone who many of us has known for many years. Are we wrong to continue to support him? Do you have children in this district? In fact have you had anything to do with this school or the district? I have been overly involved with my children's education for over 12 years and have real reason to believe in the innocence of Michael Greening. I do question the actions of some other administrators but knowing what I do of Michael I can honestly say I feel he did not intentionally do anything illegal or anything that would hurt the students in this district. But let's just say on the slim to none chance that I (and many many others) am wrong. Does that make you feel good? I feel sorry for you. And for you Stefan, whoever you are, I hardly think that the misappropriation of some school funds vs. the brutal slaying of a woman in her 80's are hardly comparable crimes. Bad analogy there sir.
Kristin April 21, 2012 at 03:17 AM
Well said Sandy!!
The Duke of Royal Oak April 21, 2012 at 01:44 PM
There was evidence realeased in the local media concerning Wood and Watson murder charges, yet no evidence concerning the Greening charges, just charges. There is no logical way of comparing the two cases. In one case a life was taken and another, allegedly money was taken. That is why there are different penalty's for different crimes. One must use their brain instead of quoting parts of the law, this is were intelligence comes into play. I have no alligiance to one side or the other on this issue, but do not rush to judgment, let the facts and the legal process proceed.
The Duke of Royal Oak April 21, 2012 at 01:56 PM
That is the same mentallity that was used to crucify Jesus Christ, MOB MENTALLITY, and did the followers of Jesus also have BLIND ALLEGAINCE?
The Duke of Royal Oak April 21, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Sandy, you comments are of LOVE and COMPASSION as well as intelligence. Your loyalty and understanding, especially in speaking to those with unrational oppinon's, is a beautiful act of GRACE and humanity.
Mr. Jones April 21, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Well said Randy Wade!! Let Mr. Greening have his day in court and let the judge and jury hear the facts and decide if he is innocent or guilty of the allegations, NOT THE MEDIA.” You are innocent until proven guilty”. Judgment without the facts, now that’s inappropriate! I personally wish Mr. Greening the very best. Sincerely, Mr. Jones
drs April 21, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Nice job Sandy. I too am a big supporter of Mr. Greening. I don't know why we don't have more information on the charges. One thing for sure is myself and my family are going to continue to pray for him and his entire family. Debbie Sobolewski
Kelly Geyer April 21, 2012 at 08:01 PM
James..yes I do know our Justice system and it states a person is inocent until proven guilty in a court of law by a jury of their peers. Just because someone is arraigned does not prove them guilty. As a community, I urge that we reserve judgement until all facts are presented in a court of law NOT in a court of public media. Married to an attorney has its benefits and I have learned alot over my 24 years of marriage. I have learned that good people can be judged guilty without a trial. So, let's give the system a chance to work the way it is supposed to.
Kelly Geyer April 21, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Well said Sandy. Those of us who have worked for many years with Michael and any other administrator knows more than the average non involved parent or community member. That being said, as I said in an earlier comment, we must wait for all of the information and case to be presented in a court of law. I too feel sorry for those who must condem somone on hearsay and gossip or just becuase they feel nasty. This community deserves to know the truth. I will trust in the justice system to provide that to all of us in do time. I will pray for Michael and his family that this entire issue can be resolved (for good or bad) and this community and the school district can get back to what it should do, educate our kids.
James Guido April 21, 2012 at 11:04 PM
So "Gossett"...As a matter of fact, I knew Greening very well. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty under court of law, this shouldn't be based upon how well you knew the man or how well you were involved with your children's education. How dare you question my involvement with this school! I am a tax payer of this city so I have every right to voice my opinion here. Now, please tell me what did happen in this situation because you obviously know so much. Hmmm? That's right, you don't know. So if I were you, I'd wait until more information comes before you claim his innocence. You cannot look at him as your friend or your principal. You must look at him as a defendant in a case and make your judgements there. If he is proven guilty, I hope you all learn a lesson that just because a person is nice or is one of your friends doesn't mean they wouldn't do a damn bad thing. As for you DT, do not compare this case to the crucification of Jesus Christ. Bad analogy.
Rock-Q April 22, 2012 at 06:06 AM
I think Michael will be exonerated; he is simply not the type of person who would do this. He is above board and has integrity.
drs April 22, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Hey Guido, you need to lighten up. Sandy can look at Greening anyway she wants and so can you. Let us all hope that he is innocent for the sake of his wife and his daughters. Peace.......
Daniel April 22, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Mr. Greening was the administrator who handled the funds for the school no one else. This is happening because the school like alot of the city does not have clear rules and guidelines that would prevent situations such as this one.
onlythetruthspoken April 23, 2012 at 01:13 AM
That's the truth!
Erich Von Zipper April 23, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Am disappointed that charges were filed. Had hoped that the investigation would clear him. The little I know about the current Royal Oak board and school administration makes me feel that he guilty - guilty of making powerful enemies who put the best interests of the students last.
john doe April 23, 2012 at 04:26 PM
I sat thru the hearing for issuance of the warrants... the evidence adds up, the same days that money was turned into the office for fundraising activities, the cash came up short in a specific amount... the very next day greening made a cash deposit of the same exact amounts into his personal accounts.... the police have factual hard copies of all bank deposits and deposit slips form the office, and a record of greenings personal incomes, there is no other answer except that he stole form the kids...
IHateMrGreening April 27, 2012 at 08:15 PM
I hate Mr.greening I hope he rots in jail ''Real Talk''
Constance July 09, 2012 at 06:17 PM
For at least 40 years Royal Oak principals have had "slush funds" for "worthy" things at their descretion. Does anyone think that Mike Greening is the only Royal Oak/kimball principal who may have had his hand in the cookie jar? Let's take a look back at least ten years.
DamageControlMuch November 22, 2012 at 01:45 AM
Oh, are you an attorney? How many of the facts do you know about? Do you have any idea how many seemingly "nice people" get away with serious crimes because pea patch minions are so gullible and simple minded, and they don't even care what a person did because "Billy Bob was such a nice person".
DamageControlMuch November 22, 2012 at 01:51 AM
Finally those not working hard at damage control or boot licking....or fear of who knows what are posting intelligent educated comments.
DamageControlMuch November 22, 2012 at 02:22 AM
James Guido, I feel sorry for you because there is an intentional SUPPORT THE SCHOOL THIEF DUE TO DAMAGE CONTROL AND EMOTIONAL IMMATURITY at hand. Greening allegedly acted alone on serious charges that were not dismissed in either court of law, for you who know nothing about the law, it was not dismissed in the Royal Oak district court, and not dismissed in the higher "more serious stuff" court. That means there were serious shameful things Mike allegedly did that was bad. It's a crime to steal for some unaware. For "The Duke of Royal Oak" with your cheap Jesus this and that card and your ridiculous attempt at "mob mentality", it means there stands a rather strong chance that your hero committed multiple genuine sins, like coveting other children's money, for starters. Could it be Mike Greening committed such sins? It isn't like he's the first to steal from a school, but it begs the question, is he the only one involved? The amount talked about during a hearing goes way beyond a few hundred and $40,000. I wonder why that is? Anybody know why that is? Anyone? How deep does that admin faculty damage control rabbit hole actually go? His trial is when a new law is about to impact all schools. "Michigan Public Education Finance Project" The money will now travel w/ the student wherever the student goes. Any child will be able to attend any school in any district. Students will be leaving ROHS, so will their money. It's always about money, not students.
DamageControlMuch November 22, 2012 at 02:24 AM
It seems obvious those who worked with him or in the school district must be working hard at damage control because if these are adults posting, how scary the way their education, or lack of one, turned out for them. Many of us have been wondering just how far this goes and how much of the blame Greening is willing to take because many of us have been suspecting he is not the only one at that high school who may have been taking cash floating around. Year after year those who worked very closely to him had no clue? Really? Seems very extraordinary to think not one person knew all these years? On top of that, with so much cash flow, where does it end and where does it begin, with the Admin theft problem?
DamageControlMuch November 22, 2012 at 02:27 AM
Then why was his case not dismissed from the district court? No, it was not! It was boundover to the higher court due to the seriousness of his multiple charges. If he was such a great person, why did he get busted? Do you have any idea how con artists work? Would you have trusted him if he was anything but pleasant? This school district cuts so many programs due to funding. Well, maybe if people like Mike Greening wasn't shaming them and stealing cash flow, allegedly, maybe they could still afford buses. How many of his fellow staff members have accounts on this thread posting and pretending they are just the average concerned citizen or one of the students? That's not all that far fetched, either. How many more of you were involved? It was CASH FLOW so often. On another note, since you brought it up, if Mike Greening was "thrown under the bus", who threw him under the bus to take the blame for what another or others did? Huh? Who would let Mike take the fall? And why? Who would Mike be taking the blame for? Or, perhaps, how many?
DamageControlMuch November 22, 2012 at 02:30 AM
For sure, so many do not know the judicial system. It is very clear that major damage control is taking place. I wonder if any other of Mike Greening's close-knit co-workers who worked closely with him, for years, like vice principals, will be implicated before it is all over, too. After all, those closest to him at the high school, in Admin, especially year after year after year, knew nothing? I wonder how Carolyn Krynak is doing these days? How could she have not known? Why is this being kept hush-hush? He stole from children. If he didn't the case would have been DISMISSED, but was not. Court records are PUBLIC RECORD. Some have sat in the court hearings and heard figures embezzled by Mike Greening that far exceed any $40,000.00. Stealing from students when so many programs have already been cut? You all honestly believe year after year after year he was the only one at the high school involved? So much cash flow. He was the only one? Really?
DamageControlMuch November 22, 2012 at 02:34 AM
VERY GOOD POINT, TERRI....with such a huge figure floating around during those court hearings, that far exceed what the public is given the impression of, how many others had access to that alleged "missing money", especially those other admin faculty members who were in the same office area Greening was. Those who worked with him year after year after year. It would be very hard to believe he was the only one in the school, in that location, who allegedly acted alone. What if he makes a deal to give other names in order to reduce his sentence?
DamageControlMuch November 22, 2012 at 02:36 AM
Um, Daniel, I hate to break it to you, but did someone have to actually write it down in the rules that stealing is a crime?
DamageControlMuch November 22, 2012 at 02:37 AM
You are correct. Please also know that when a court case is not dismissed, and moved to a higher court because it is more serious, and still not dismissed, that speaks volumes, too.
DamageControlMuch November 22, 2012 at 02:38 AM
You are correct!! I wonder how many vacations he and his wife went on that children paid for?
DamageControlMuch November 22, 2012 at 02:39 AM
Oh, really? Well according to testimony, you may want to learn about what was already agreed about.

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