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Former D.C. charter school leader sentenced to prison for stealing school funds

The former executive director of a D.C. public charter school was sentenced to nine months in prison Thursday after admitting to embezzling $29,000 in school funds, according to U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr.’s office.

Monique S. Murdock, 45, co-founded the Nia Public Charter School in Southeast Washington in 2006. She wrote five checks from the school account, totaling $29,000, to a foster child in her care and then transferred all but $100 of that money to an account in her name, according to court records.

Nia has since been closed for poor performance by the D.C. Public Charter School Board.

Murdock admitted her actions in November, when she entered a guilty plea in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Murdock also acknowledged using a government-issued purchase card to buy gift cards worth more than $11,000 while working as director of an Army day-care center in Virginia, court records show.

She has agreed to make restitution payments of more than $40,000 to the federal government, including the Education and Defense departments.

Emma Brown writes about national education and about people with a stake in schools, including teachers, parents and kids.

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