Former principal to be charged with grand theft

Eric Lords
Eric Lords

SHELLEY — Former Shelley High School Principal Eric Lords will be charged with grand theft, Bingham County Prosecutor Paul Rogers tells Idaho Education News.

Lords, who was stripped of his administrative certificate after using school funds for personal purchases, will soon face one charge of  “wrongfully tak(ing) or obtain(ing) money in excess of $1,000,” Rogers said Tuesday.

Another former employee, Cristy Jo Burton, who worked with Lords at the school, will face four counts of the same crime, Rogers said. Authorities are waiting on a probable cause statement from a police officer to formally file the charges.

Social-distancing restrictions tied to the coronavirus pandemic also have slowed the process, Rogers said. “We’re still filing charges but don’t want to swamp the court.”

In June, the Idaho Professional Standards Commission suspended Lords’ administrative certificate after he admitted to using school funds for more than $3,700 in personal purchases.

The commission allowed Lords to keep his Idaho teaching certificate, though he does not have a teaching assignment for 2019-20, according to a records reviewed by Idaho Education News.

Lords has since paid the district at least $3,720 in restitution, according to a stipulation agreement between Lords and the commission.

Idaho Education News data analyst Randy Schrader contributed to this story. 

Devin Bodkin

About Devin Bodkin

Reporter Devin Bodkin covers education issues in East Idaho. He is a former high school English teacher who specializes in stories about charter schools and educating students who live in poverty. Devin co-hosts "Beyond the Books" online news segments in conjunction with EastIdahoNews.com. He is a 2019 Solutions Journalism Network fellow. Follow Devin on Twitter @dsbodkin. He can be reached by email at [email protected].

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