School District Releases Principal Tape

By Al Pefley  email

West Palm Beach, FL (WFLX)

We're hearing for the first time  from a former high school principal, forced from his job due to improper use of a school credit card.

Jonathan Prince has just been demoted, and was given a 20 day suspension for misuse of school money.

In March, Prince was interviewed by school district police.   At the time he was the principal of Palm Beach Gardens High and was facing questions from school police about how and why he would misuse a school district credit card.

"It's my responsibility ultimately because I'm the principal but I'm disappointed that I didn't um, that I didn't pay as much attention as I should have clearly," Prince said in the interview with detective Robert Walton.

School investigators determined Palm Beach Gardens High Principal Jonathan Prince went too far, using his school district-issued credit card for almost $4000 worth of questionable items.

Things like meals at Ruth's Chris..a high-priced steakhouse.

Hooters, Outback, room service at a hotel in Naples, gift cards, candy roses for his staff, even a tuxedo rental for an ROTC ball.

Prince told school police he did not clearly understand what the card could and could not be used for.

"When it came to this stuff, it just is not, it has not been on my radar. I very clearly understand now how very serious this is. I mean how absolutely serious this is and I should know this. I should know it and I didn't and now I'm in a lot of trouble and I can tell you right now, um, I know it now," Prince said.

School district spokesman Nat Harrington says Prince has repaid the money and is being demoted to assistant principal.  He will not face criminal charges.

The school district also has just released records involving another principal for the same sort of allegations--misuse of a school credit card.

But they determined that Jack Thompson, principal at Boca Raton Community Middle School, did not break any laws and did not violate school policy and will not face disciplinary action.

He had about $6800 dollars in purchases of food and gifts that were scrutinized.   The district is expected to release soon the investigative file on another principal for the same activity.