Hassell-Forde Suspension Likely Headed to Court

Education officials have declined to comment about the recent suspension of Addelita Cancryn Junior High School Principal Lisa Hassell-Forde. Asked by the Source this week to confirm the suspension, department spokeswoman Keva Muller said Education doesn’t discuss on personnel matters, but indicated a lawsuit might also be in the works.

According to other media outlets, the suspension came to light when Hassell-Forde’s husband, Sen. Jean Forde, commented publicly that his wife was being blamed for the disappearance of $8,000 from the school’s safe. Police reports indicate that Hassell-Forde reported the money missing on Sept. 27, after she returned to the school and saw that her office had been burglarized.

In the report, the junior high principal said she had been told by a campus workman that five men had climbed around the back window of the office building, which she said she had secured the week before. According to Sen. Forde’s statements, Hassell-Forde was notified by the department last week that she had been placed on 60-day leave without pay and ordered to repay the $8,000.

While Education wouldn’t confirm the details, the Justice Department issued a statement late last week indicating that a DOE employee is being investigated in connection with the missing funds. Justice also said at the time that additional comments cannot be made since the investigation is ongoing but that a public announcement would be made once the matter becomes more serious.

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The family said they have retained an attorney and would also not offer comments.

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