After a three year investigation, a former Bremond Superintendent has been sentenced for misusing school funds. Kenneth Johnson entered a plea of no contest in a Robertson County courtroom Monday morning.
55-year-old Kenneth Johnson served as Bremond ISD's Superintendent for 10 years. But now he'll be serving time for misusing school money.
At a plea bargain hearing in Franklin, Johnson pleaded no contest to a first degree felony theft charge and misapplication of fiduciary funds.
He was sentenced to 5 years in prison for the theft charge and 10 years probation for the misapplication charge.
“We’re satisfied justice was done," said Special Prosecutor Jim James.
An audit into the school districts credit cards found that Johnson spent over $137,000 of the district's money on questionable expenses, including jewelry and trips to Cancun, California, and Las Vegas.
Johnson was also ordered to pay $207,000 in restitution.
“He’s already paid $137,000 so there will be $70,000 in new money once he gets out of the penitentiary."
Current superintendent Tim Peterson says the school district and the community are happy that there is finally closure in the case.
We were led to believe early on in the investigation that law enforcement would use their subpoena power to find the extent of the misuse of funds. In spite of everything we found, we now know they simply took what Dr. Johnson claimed responsibility for and ran with it.
The district is out hundreds of thousands of dollars. Each and every governmental agency we’ve turned to have either passed the buck or claimed that due to limited resources they would not pursue the investigation to the full extent.
Nancy and Robert Gadbois, who were among parents who looked into the district's financial records and reported findings to authorities, released this statement:
It appears no further investigation was pursued even though more evidence existed such as credit card statements from Wal-Mart, Lowes and Texaco and at least four years of checks.
We are pleased Dr. Johnson will serve time in prison. We are disappointed in local, state and federal authorities for not investigating all the leads we provided them.
There was also an indictment against Johnson's son, Jason, but it was dismissed. Bremond ISD's former business manager, Sandra Nolan, was also indicted on theft charges but she died of cancer in January.