Former principal charges dropped after husband pleads - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Former principal charges dropped after husband pleads

Gloria Baker, in 2102 Gloria Baker, in 2102
Baker as principal of Morningside Elementary Baker as principal of Morningside Elementary
Attorney Howard Stiller Attorney Howard Stiller
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

John Baker pled guilty today to two misdemeanor charges stemming from his child receiving free school lunches, and his wife, Gloria, who made $90,000 a year as a principal at Morningside Elementary, had her charges dismissed.

Baker still works for the Dougherty Co. School System.

Special Prosecutor Joe Mulholland told WALB Friday that John Baker said all along that the filings were his doing, and that his wife knew nothing about it, and Mulholland said there was no evidence contradicting that, so a plea deal was made. 

Mulholland was named to the case after Dougherty D. A. Greg Edwards recused himself.

Gloria Baker's attorney said she's relieved the case is over after two years.

Attorney Howard Stiller said "They were charges that never should have been brought to start with, against her to begin with. At the end of the day I believe it was a big waste of time and money for a lot of people."

John Baker was given a first offender probated sentence and ordered to pay restitution.

Last September, the former principal and her husband John asked Judge Willie Lockette  to throw out the falsifying school lunch forms criminal charges against them.

Judge Willie Lockette decided to defer the motions that Gloria Baker's attorney filed until other issues are resolved.

A statute was cited by the defenses a basis for dismissal, but the meaning of the statute was not clear.

The dates that the child was said to have gotten free lunches wasn't established, because the computers that track them are automatically purged each year. They only show with certainty when the application was filed, and approved.

Her attorney, Howard Stiller, filed a motion to dismiss the charges, saying the he "found legal defects in the case."

She had been charged with Public Record Fraud, theft by taking and providing false information to obtain free school meals.

 

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