CHARLESTON, W.Va. — An assistant principal in Mingo County is being fined and reprimanded by the West Virginia Ethics Commission.
The case echoed a scandal in Logan County, where the former superintendent was accused of using state resources to buy iPods and iPads for family members, as well as items to be used for her son’s wedding. The total expenditure was significantly larger in that case.
In this case, Marcella Charles Casto, who works at Mingo Central, admitted buying tablecloths and chair covers, bands and sash slips in early 2016 with the Mingo County Board of Education’s BB&T Purchasing Card.
She used 194 of those items at her May 21, 2016, wedding in Tennessee.
All but 10 of those items had never been used at the school and so were new when used at the wedding. After using the items at her wedding, at some point Charles-Casto returned the items to Mingo Central.
She was accused of violating the state Ethics Act by using her public position for her own private gain.
The West Virginia Ethics Commission issued a public reprimand and assessed a $2,000 fine as part of a settlement agreement approved Thursday.
Charles-Casto also was ordered to undergo training on the Ethics Act as part of the settlement of the ethics complaint against her.
She has been an assistant principal at Mingo Central since 2011. Part of her duties included responsibility for purchases for the Career Technical Education Center.
She used the purchasing card to order various colors of chair covers, table covers, chair bands and sashes amounting to $974 from Your Chair Covers Inc on the internet.
In the similar Logan County case, former Superintendent Phyllis Doty was convicted of federal charges a week ago.
Doty, 68, was found guilty of mail fraud, four counts of wire fraud and two counts of theft from a program receiving federal funds and one count of aggravated identity theft.
Beginning in September 2011, Doty purchased $12,000 in iPods and iPads with school system money and sold them or gave them to family members. At least 20 devices were stolen, federal prosecutors said.
The jury also found Doty used $6,500 in school system money to purchase items to be used as decorations for her son’s wedding including bread baskets, easels, drink dispensers, columns, and decorative urns. She told the purchasing director the items were wanted by the band director at Chapmanville Middle School.
Doty picked the items up from the school in July 2015 and they were used in the wedding. She later tried to cover up the purchase.