The principal of a Mt. Juliet elementary school and the school’s bookkeeper recently resigned while an investigation into alleged “financial improprieties” is conducted.
According to Wilson County Director of Schools Tim Setterlund, Elzie D. Patton Elementary School principal Lori Hassell resigned Dec. 13 and the school’s bookkeeper resigned “a couple weeks earlier than that.”
“We found what we thought were financial improprieties,” said Setterlund. “This is an investigation into fraud. We have no reason to believe Ms. Hassell was involved in fraud.”
He said the financial irregularities were discovered in house, and “there was a slight incident that raised a flag to further investigate, and we thought it was bigger than what we could do internally.”
The school system asked the state comptroller’s officer to investigate. Setterlund said the investigation could take months.
“This is still an investigation, and there are still facts to be sorted out,” said Setterlund. “They are investigating things, and we are conducting an audit.”
He said Stan Moss was named interim principal at the school. Moss was a longtime Carroll Oakland Elementary School principal and was also at the helm of Lakeview Elementary School. Before this interim position, Moss worked at the system’s main office over attendance. Setterlund hopes to name a permanent school principal in the spring.