The embezzlement trial of Inglewood school board member Caroline Coleman, which had been scheduled to begin Sept. 19, has been postponed to Oct. 11. Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Sam Bubrick granted the delay requested by Coleman's attorney, Johnnie L. Cochran, who said he had other pending matters.
Coleman, 47, has been charged with embezzling more than $1,200 from the Inglewood Unified School District and filing false expense claims for an additional $300. Coleman claimed she used the money to attend an educational conference in New Orleans in November, 1983. However, she has been unable to produce evidence that she attended the conference and conference organizers say they have no record of receiving her registration fee.
Coleman left Wednesday to attend the 15th annual legislative weekend of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Inc. in Washington as the school board's representative. Coleman was given $600 to attend the four-day conference, which will continue through Saturday.
Board members voted 3 to 1 last month to approve the trip, with member William (Tony)Draper casting the lone dissenting vote. Voting for approval were board president William Dorn and board members Ernest Shaw and Rose Mary Benjamin.
It was Draper, then board president, who in July, 1984, asked for the district attorney investigation that resulted in the felony charge against Coleman.