Former Blackfoot principal pleads guilty to stealing

POCATELLO – A former Fort Hall Elementary School principal pleaded guilty on Tuesday to stealing $9,462.51 from the Blackfoot School District.

Blackfoot’s Brenda Honena, 52, was indicted by the federal grand jury in Pocatello on Feb. 23. She initially denied taking the money during an investigation in 2012.

Honena, who was employed by the district at the time, later admitted to taking the money during an interview with FBI agents.

She admitted to using the money for her “personal use” and did so without authorization.

The federal court carries jurisdiction in the case because the Blackfoot School District receives federal operations funds.

“The charge of theft from an organization receiving federal funds is punishable by up to ten years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000,” read Tuesday’s press release by the Department of Justice.

Honena is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 8 before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Pocatello.

The Fort Hall Police Department helped with the investigation.

Blackfoot is located in East Idaho, roughly 30 miles south of Idaho Falls.