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Superintendent: Suspended East Lawrence High principal mishandled money, changed records

WAFF's Jasmyn Cornell reporting
Published: Jun. 6, 2022 at 7:45 AM CDT
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MOULTON, Ala. (WAFF) - East Lawrence High School’s principal, who is on administrative leave with pay, has been accused of mishandling public money and changing records.

Ron E. Rikard, Jr. has been on paid administrative leave since Feb. 2. According to the Decatur Daily, the Lawrence County Board of Education approved his resignation on Mar. 7. Rickard is being paid his $102,898 annual salary until his resignation goes into effect on June 30.

Our partners at the Decatur Daily were able to obtain documents through Alabama’s open records law. The accusations against Rikard came in written notices that were put in his file.

Rikard was accused of falsifying the salary of a teacher, who is also a coach, to help that person secure a loan from a local credit union.

Documents also show that he allegedly mishandled receipts from a Sept. 13 middle school football game. Estimates of the receipts’ value ranged from $85 to $300, according to the Decatur Daily.

Rikard’s suspension came after he was accused of giving false information about an incident involving his son holding up an inappropriate sign during a basketball game between East Lawrence High and R.A. Hubbard in January.

School Superintendent Jon Bret Smith told the Decatur Daily that no legal charges have been filed against Rikard. The Daily says it has reached out to Rikard for comment, but they have not received a response.

The school board has hired Gaylon Parker as the new principal of East Lawrence High School.

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