City Desk

Former Charter School Exec Sentenced to Nine Months in Prison for Embezzling School Money

The former executive director of Nia Community Public Charter School was sentenced to nine months in prison for embezzling $29,000 in funds intended for the Southeast school, U.S. Attorney Ron Machen Jr.’s office announced today.

Monique Murdock pleaded guilty back in November to the charges and also admitted to making unauthorized purchases with a government-issued purchase card while she worked for another employer in Virginia.

Murdock co-founded the charter school in 2006 and served as its executive director until 2008. She diverted $29,000 from the school's account to write checks to a foster child that was in her care. With the exception of $100, she transferred all that money to a different account in her name, the Washington Post reported in November.

She was fired from her post at that school in November 2008 and filed a wrongful termination suit in 2009, which was ultimately settled before the case went to trial. The D.C. Public Charter School Board later revoked the school's charter for poor academic performance and failure to develop a curriculum, according to the Post.

Between July 2006 and August 2008, the charter school received more than $3.3 million from the District of Columbia Public Charter School Board. It also also received more than $548,000 from the U.S. Department of Education during the 2007 and 2008 fiscal years, a press release from Machen's office states.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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