Charter schools founder indicted

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SAN BERNARDINO – The founder of one of California’s largest charter school networks was indicted Tuesday on 113 felony counts of misappropriation of public funds, grand theft and tax evasion for allegedly siphoning millions in public school funds, San Bernardino County prosecutors said. C. Steven Cox, founder of the now-defunct California Charter Academy, was indicted on 56 counts of misappropriation of public funds and 56 counts of grand theft, said Michael Fermin, a supervising deputy district attorney. Cox was also accused of failing to file a state tax return, he said. Cox, 59, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment and was jailed with bail set at $1 million. The grand jury also indicted Tad Theron Honeycutt, a Hesperia city councilman, on 15 counts of misappropriation of funds, 15 counts of grand theft, three counts of failure to file a state tax return and one count of filing a false tax return. Honeycutt, 44, also entered a plea of not guilty to all charges and was jailed in lieu of $500,000 bail. San Bernardino County prosecutors began their investigation after the release of an 80-page state audit in 2004 that detailed serious problems with the finances and operations management at the Victorville-based network of schools. The audit charged that Cox routinely looted millions from public schools to enrich his friends and family, leading to the academy’s collapse. Auditors wrote that California Charter Academy and its private management firm, Educational Administrative Services Corp., spent millions on hefty executive salaries, perks and questionable contracts awarded to Cox’s friends and family.last_img

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