As the result of a joint collaborative investigation by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office Public Corruption Task Force (PC Task Force), the Miami-Dade County Public Schools Office of the Inspector General and Miami-Dade County Public Schools Police, the former Principal of the Miami Jackson Adult Education Center (MJA Center) Joey Bautista was arrested today and charged with:
- 1 Count of Organized Scheme to Defraud – 2nd Degree Felony
- 3 Counts of Official Misconduct – 3rd Degree Felony
- 3 Counts of Grand Theft – 3rd Degree Felony
“The alleged misuse of school funds to pay for child care and housekeeping services is an absolute betrayal of trust,” commented State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “Every educational dollar is intended to better individuals and our community, not someone who can manipulate the paperwork to scam the system. I am proud that this collaborative effort with the Miami-Dade County Public Schools Office of the Inspector General and their police department has allowed us to end such financial abuse.”
Acting on material supplied by a confidential source, the school employment history of Ms. Adeline Joseph was reviewed. According to the informational source, Ms. Joseph had stopped working as a custodian at the school and allegedly began to work as Bautista’s personal housekeeper and child care attendant while being paid by Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS). The investigation allegedly found no evidence to indicate that Ms. Joseph worked at the MJA Center main campus or at any other school from March 29, 2013 through September 24, 2015. Presently, it is estimated that $41,798.22 was allegedly stolen from the school during former principal Bautista’s tenure at the MJA Center.
Bautista had been the MJA Center Principal since July 2011. He was reassigned to the Miami Beach Adult Education Center in June of this year. The MJA Center, while housed within Miami Jackson Senior High School and several other satellite facilities, is an afternoon and night school entity administratively separate from Miami Jackson Senior High School.
Miami-Dade County Inspector General Mary T. Cagle stated “Taxpayers should be outraged when their hard earned dollars are stolen by greedy public officials for their private gain. These types of frauds, committed by dishonest public servants, will continue to be the focus of OIG investigations.”
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