Former Guymon school employee falsfied education, teaching certificate

Thursday, February 17th 2005, 6:45 am
By: News On 6

GUYMON, Okla. (AP) -- A former Guymon school employee who claimed to have a doctorate degree from Arizona State University has pleaded no contest to charges that he bilked the school system out of more than $96,000.

When applying for a job, Steve R. Ratlief provided a falsified Oklahoma teaching certificate and said he had master's and doctorate degrees from Arizona State University.

Officers with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation say they could only prove that Ratlief had a high school diploma.

District Judge Greg A. Zigler sentenced Ratlief to 20 years in prison and ordered him to pay $52,550 in restitution for four counts of obtaining money by false pretenses.

Ratlief has paid the bulk of the restitution money.

Ratlief served as the school system's Title I school support coordinator from November 1997 to September 2000. He also provided drug and alcohol counseling and psychological disorder diagnosis and treatment for the school system from December 1998 to August 2000 through a separate company he owned.