Former Cleveland charter school exec pleads guilty after audit of $1.3 million in mishandled funds

Ohio Auditor uncovers discrepancies

Cleveland - The former executive director of a Cleveland charter school has pleaded guilty to his involvement in $1.3 million of mishandled funds.

Lion of Judah Academy  closed last June and was struggling to meet state education standards.

In a plea agreement, 46-year-old Romey Coles pleaded guilty to one count of having an unlawful interest in a public contract.

Auditors found $1.1 million wound up in a side business Coles was also operating.

Coles was originally indicted by a Cuyahoga County grand jury last February on multiple criminal charges including money laundering and theft but those charges have since been dropped by prosecutors.

Ohio Auditor David Yost released three financial audits of the school for years 2007-2010 that detail the extent of the of Coles involvement.

Read the audits: 2007 | 2008-2009 | 2010

Another school administrator, Carl Shye served as treasurer, and was sentenced to two years in prison in 2012 for his involvement in other community schools in Ohio.

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