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Compton School Official Held on Charge of Swindling District

February 15, 1995|EMELYN CRUZ LAT | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A Compton school administrator has been accused of swindling the district out of thousands of dollars, allegedly by ordering supplies from fictitious companies and pocketing the money.

Authorities said Charles Alfred Monk, 63, the school system's purchasing director, approved four school district checks totaling $27,461 for supplies from two companies that listed a Torrance address. The checks were sent, however, to a post office box that Monk rented in Torrance, said Larry Donoghue, a Los Angeles County deputy district attorney.

The school system never received the supplies, according to district auditors.

Monk, who resigned Feb. 1, was arrested Friday at his Redondo Beach apartment. He faces a charge of grand theft embezzlement, which carries a maximum prison sentence of three years.

He pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Compton Municipal Court and was in custody in lieu of $20,000 bail.

Monk, who had joined the district in May, was placed on paid leave Jan. 20 after school officials discovered apparent irregularities in the purchasing of school supplies.

Monk had been purchasing director for the Pasadena Unified School District for four years, but resigned in 1989 after pleading guilty to perjury in connection with his testimony before a grand jury in Atlanta regarding a nationwide scheme to sell outdated prescription drugs to pharmacies, hospitals and other customers. He was sentenced to six months in a halfway house for convicted felons and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.

Compton school officials were aware of Monk's record when they hired him in April but said he had been highly recommended by previous employers, said Jerome Harris, appointed by the state to oversee the financially troubled district.

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