Former Academy of Dover Principal Indicted on Theft Charges - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Former Academy of Dover Principal Indicted on Theft Charges

Posted: Updated:
Noel Rodriguez (Photo credit: Delaware State News) Noel Rodriguez (Photo credit: Delaware State News)

DOVER, Del.- The former principal of the Academy of Dover charter school has been indicted on four counts of federal program theft and faces up to 40 years in prison, the United States attorney for the District of Delaware announced Thursday.

Noel Rodriguez, 55, formerly of Dover, may also have to pay fines and restitution if convicted. 

According to the indictment, during each of the years 2011 to 2014, while employed as the principal of the Academy of Dover, Rodriguez embezzled at least $5,000 of money or property belonging to the school.  During that time period, the Indictment alleges, the charter school received yearly federal funding in excess of $10,000 from the United States Department of Education.  This funding provides the basis for the federal program theft charges.

June 2015 audit conducted by Delaware's state auditor said Rodriguez used school funds to pay for more than $125,000 in personal items. Auditor Thomas Wagner's report also said Rodriguez used school funds to pay legal fees for lawsuits alleging sexual harassment, reimburse employees for alcohol purchases, and give financial rewards to teachers without adequate justification.

The auditor's report also found roughly $130,000 in other expenditures that could not be validated as either school or personal purchases. 

Academy of Dover received more than $10,000 in federal funding annually while Rodriguez was employed by the school, according to prosecutors, who said funding provides the basis for the federal program theft charges.

According to WBOC media partner the Delaware State News, Delaware's state auditor received a tip in August 2014, and the Department of Education and the school’s board of directors launched an investigation. Rodriguez resigned the following month at the request of the board.

Academy of Dover opened in 2003 and serves students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

The case is being investigated by the FBI, the U.S. Department of Education's Office of the Inspector General and the Delaware Attorney General's Office, with assistance from the Delaware auditor. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Van Pelt is prosecuting the case.

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Former Smyrna Middle Teacher Pleads Guilty to Sex With Students

    Former Smyrna Middle Teacher Pleads Guilty to Sex With Students

    11/20/2017 07:40:00 -05:002017-11-20 12:40:00 GMT
    Monday, November 20 2017 7:43 AM EST2017-11-20 12:43:02 GMT
    Karen BrooksKaren Brooks
    A former teacher at Smyrna Middle School in Delaware has pleaded guilty to fourth-degree rape after she admitted to a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old boy.More
    A former teacher at Smyrna Middle School in Delaware has pleaded guilty to fourth-degree rape after she admitted to a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old boy.More
  • Virginia House GOP Elects its Leadership Team

    Virginia House GOP Elects its Leadership Team

    11/20/2017 07:31:00 -05:002017-11-20 12:31:00 GMT
    Monday, November 20 2017 7:31 AM EST2017-11-20 12:31:24 GMT
    The Virginia General AssemblyThe Virginia General Assembly
    Republicans in Virginia's House of Delegates have elected their leadership team and choice for speaker, all while Democrats hope recounts can flip the chamber from GOP control.More
    Republicans in Virginia's House of Delegates have elected their leadership team and choice for speaker, all while Democrats hope recounts can flip the chamber from GOP control.More
  • Shots Fired at Slaughter Beach Home

    Shots Fired at Slaughter Beach Home

    11/19/2017 20:14:00 -05:002017-11-20 01:14:00 GMT
    Sunday, November 19 2017 8:22 PM EST2017-11-20 01:22:52 GMT
    The Delaware State Police are currently investigating an incident in which shots were fired at a home on Bay Avenue.More
    The Delaware State Police are currently investigating an incident in which shots were fired at a home on Bay Avenue.More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • "Hood Fight Salisbury" Cell Phone Videos

    "Hood Fight Salisbury" Cell Phone Videos

    27 cell phone videos depicting brutal streets fights among teenagers in Salisbury were posted online. Local leaders including the Mayor, State's Attorney and a Reverend react to the media.More
    27 cell phone videos depicting brutal streets fights among teenagers in Salisbury were posted online. Local leaders including the Mayor, State's Attorney and a Reverend react to the media.More
  • Chincoteague's Oldest Saltwater Cowboy Dies at 78

    Chincoteague's Oldest Saltwater Cowboy Dies at 78

    Many today mourned the loss of the oldest Chincoteague Saltwater Cowboy. Wesley Bloxom was best known for his passion and involvement in the Chincoteague Pony Swim, one of Delmarva's biggest events. Today, his life was celebrated. Caroline Coles reports.

    More

    Many today mourned the loss of the oldest Chincoteague Saltwater Cowboy. Wesley Bloxom was best known for his passion and involvement in the Chincoteague Pony Swim, one of Delmarva's biggest events. Today, his life was celebrated. Caroline Coles reports.

    More
  • Two Milford Shootings Prompt Investigations

    Two Milford Shootings Prompt Investigations

    Milford Police are investigating a pair of overnight shootings. The first took place in the 200 block of Northwest 3rd Street around 2:18 am. It’s been reported an unknown male suspect shot a male victim twice and at an occupied home striking it multiple times. The second shooting took place in the 300 block of Northwest 4th Street at approximately 5:09 am, where a suspect or multiple suspects shot and struck an unoccupied parked vehicle.

    More

    Milford Police are investigating a pair of overnight shootings. The first took place in the 200 block of Northwest 3rd Street around 2:18 am. It’s been reported an unknown male suspect shot a male victim twice and at an occupied home striking it multiple times. The second shooting took place in the 300 block of Northwest 4th Street at approximately 5:09 am, where a suspect or multiple suspects shot and struck an unoccupied parked vehicle.

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices