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Tulsa Public Schools' Athletic Director And Two Assistants Suspended

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Picture of Tulsa Public Schools Education Service Center. Picture of Tulsa Public Schools Education Service Center.
Jon Wheeler, left, Stephanie Spring, in the middle, and Trish Pruitt, on the right. [Courtesy: Greater Tulsa Reporter Newspapers] Jon Wheeler, left, Stephanie Spring, in the middle, and Trish Pruitt, on the right. [Courtesy: Greater Tulsa Reporter Newspapers]
Picture of Cheryl Murphy.  [file photo] Picture of Cheryl Murphy. [file photo]
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Tulsa Public Schools athletic director Dr. Stephanie Spring and assistant athletic directors Jon Wheeler and Trish Pruitt have all been suspended with pay effective Tuesday, November 15, 2011.

Tulsa Public Schools is not saying the specific reason why they have been suspended but the three have been under investigation by Tulsa police.

News On 6 first reported the allegations in August as detectives are looking into whether they hacked into another employee's personal emails.

8/16/2011 Related Story: Employees At Tulsa Public Schools Accused Of Hacking Co-Worker's Email

The case began when Cheryl Murphy was fired from Tulsa Public Schools. She worked as an assistant to athletic director Stephanie Spring and says she was told she was being let go for repeatedly being late to work.

Murphy appealed the firing and it was during the suspension she learned she may have been a victim of a cyber crime. Now Jon Wheeler, Stephanie Spring, and Trish Pruitt have been suspended with pay.

Police reports show that Spring, Wheeler, and Pruitt admitted finding the password to Murphy's personal e-mail account and then accessed her email.

The chief of police for Tulsa Schools says in the report, that he found an envelope that contained Murphy's e-mails; one was labeled attorney-client privilege.

In August, Spring's attorney told News On 6 Reporter Ashli Sims that she hasn't done anything wrong.

"She never, without authorization, accessed anybody's computer system," Allen Smallwood, Spring's attorney, said back in August.

Tulsa police said they turned their report on the investigation over to the District Attorney's Office last week. TPS would not disclose why the three have been suspended.

The attorney for Jon Wheeler says the district has not told him of any specific reasons why he has been suspended and that Mr. Wheeler hasn't done anything that would warrant criminal charges being filed.

TPS superintendent Dr. Keith Ballard issued a statement Tuesday announcing the suspensions:

"TPS today has suspended Athletic Director Dr. Stephanie Spring and Assistant Athletic Directors Jon Wheeler and Trish Pruitt pending further decisions on each individual's employment status. These suspensions are with full pay and benefits as required by law. Because it is a personnel matter, no further information can be released at this time. Effective immediately and until further notice, Stephen Mayfield, executive assistant to the associate superintendent of secondary schools, will serve as TPS acting athletic director. We appreciate Stephen very much for stepping into this important role."

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