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February 1, 2013

Former ROHS principal sentenced to probation

Embezzlement of student funds does not lead to jail time

By Chris Jackett
C & G Staff Writer

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Michael Greening

PONTIAC — The book closed on former Royal Oak High School Principal Michael Greening’s court case last week, but no jailhouse door followed.

Greening, 46, pleaded guilty Dec. 11, 2012, to one count of embezzlement of an amount between $1,000 and $20,000 as part of a plea deal that dropped a second embezzlement charge. Sentencing took place Jan. 22 in Oakland County Circuit Court in Pontiac, and Greening was given two years of probation by Judge Shalina Kumar.

“As a part of that plea, Mr. Greening stipulated to a restitution amount of over $25,000, an admission that he converted at least this amount of student activity funds to his personal use in a pattern of behavior that continued for over three years,” Royal Oak Neighborhood Schools Superintendent Shawn Lewis-Lakin said via email.

Although he will serve no jail time, Greening will have to pay a minimum of $25,880 in restitution, as well as undetermined auditing and legal fees, County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper said. The maximum penalty would have included six months in jail.

Defense attorney Paul Stablein did not return calls seeking comment by press deadline.

Greening was arrested April 20, 2012, following allegations that he embezzled student activity funds totaling more than $11,000 in 2010 and 2011. He had been put on paid administrative leave Dec. 29, 2011, after some financial irregularities arose. The funds in question were cash deposits intended for student activities that included the football program, prom, robotics, drama and spirit club.

On June 6, 2012, Greening announced his resignation from the district, effective June 30, 2012.

Former Birmingham administrator Jim Moll has served as ROHS’s interim principal since Jan. 3, 2012, and will continue in the role through June 30, 2013, at which point the district hopes to have a permanent replacement set.

“We anticipate having the position officially posted by Feb. 1, with the goal of bringing a recommendation regarding a candidate to the Board of Education in April,” Lewis-Lakin said via email.

The district sought residential input via focus groups and a web survey.

“Focus groups held the first week in January informed the development of an objective response survey,” Lewis-Lakin said via email. “Nearly 400 individuals have responded to the invitation to provide input through the survey.”

The survey closed Jan. 25. 

For more information about the search process, visit www.royaloakschools.com.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Chris Jackett at cjackett@candgnews.com or at (586)279-1110.