Former TPS Athletic Director Facing Federal Theft Charges

Friday, February 1st 2013, 5:40 pm
By: News On 6

A former Tulsa Public Schools athletic director is facing federal charges. Stephanie Spring was charged Thursday with stealing more than $5,000 from the school district.

Stephanie Spring resigned from Tulsa Public Schools one year ago.

Her case has to do with getting money to rent out facilities and has caused TPS to change the way it does business.

Spring was in charge of the entire athletic department for Tulsa Public Schools. She turned in her resignation in January 2012, after being suspended by the district the previous November.

On Thursday, she was charged by the federal government with theft.

1/31/2013 Related Story: Former TPS Athletic Director Facing Federal Charges

They say she would rent out school facilities and then keep the money herself, instead of depositing it in the school's general fund. The amount came to more than $5,000.

Tulsa Public Schools would not comment on the charges.

Gil Cloud is the district's new Athletic Director.

"What we're concerned about is the health and safety of our kids, the facilities that they use, and we move forward everyday with that in mind. That's the most important thing," Cloud said.

Cloud has been an athletic director at the high school and collegiate level for 37 years. He's implemented a new system that he said will provide checks and balances to prevent something similar from happening again.

He said if someone wants to rent out a school facility they must fill out an application. It first goes to his office, and then on to the facility use management office. If it's approved, his office keeps the paperwork and payment must be received in full, 48 hours before the event takes place.

"That's, basically, what I've done in every place I've been as a director," Cloud said. "I feel comfortable with that. I think it involves the school site, it involves the facility utilization and management site, and it involves our site."

An investigation into Spring began after a fired TPS employee learned her emails may have been hacked. Assistant Athletic Directors Jon Wheeler and Trish Pruitt were also suspended in November 2011. Pruitt still works for the district, but in a different position. Wheeler is no longer employed by TPS.

The federal government is involved, because Spring is alleged to have done this while working for a program that receives money from the government.