Monday, February 8, 2010

Marion, South Carolina superintendent resigns after embezzlement allegations

-Marion School District 2 Superintendent Dr. Nathaniel Miller resigned Tuesday after a grand jury investigation showed money missing from the district.

He was arrested after the brief investigation revealed more than half a million dollars had been stolen from its coffers.
The district's board chair, Elizabeth Hammond, said Miller's resignation is effective immediately. She received Miller's resignation Tuesday morning.
Nancy Grice, Director of Instruction, will continue to serve as the acting superintendent until further notice.
Miller, 59, of 206 Azalea Drive, Mullins, is charged with embezzlement of public funds, according to a State Law Enforcement Division press release. If convicted of the felony, he faces up to 20 years in prison and fines at the discretion of the court.
According to the arrest warrant, Miller converted $503,199.50 of the district's money for his personal use between March 2006 "to on or about January 2010." That usage includes paying mortgages, college tuition and rent for his children. As superintendent, he was charged with the safekeeping, transfer and disbursement of Marion 2 funds, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.
Miller turned himself in to SLED agents Friday afternoon at the Richland County Courthouse in Columbia. His arrest warrant lists a second address for him at 11 Skyland Court, Columbia.
According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Miller "provided a voluntary statement to law enforcement on January 13, 2010, which indicated he converted the funds for personal use. The state has independent evidence to corroborate the statement provided by Nathaniel Miller."
Third Circuit Court Judge Thomas Cooper set a $75,000 bond for Miller and ordered him to surrender his passport. Miller is being represented by Columbia attorney Neal Laurie, who represented South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia when he faced misdemeanor charges.
The Mullins-based Marion 2 Board of Trustees placed Miller on administrative leave with full pay and benefits pending the investigation. The board took the action following an emergency closed door meeting Wednesday night, according to a press release from Marion 2 public information officer Gail P. Fowler.
Miller began his tenure as the district's superintendent Jan. 9, 2006.

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