West Riviera Elementary Principal Tonja Lindsey-Latson accused of pawning school district computer

Posted at 12:12 PM, Jan 27, 2017

A Palm Beach County principal is accused of pawning a school district computer for cash.

An Apple laptop was pawned January 17 at Cash America in West Palm Beach.

School police say they received an alert from an automated system that tracks pawnshop transactions and discovered the computer was assigned to West Riviera Elementary Principal Tonja Lindsey-Latson.

Upon further investigation, school police say that they found the same computer had been pawned on four previous occasions for amounts ranging from $300 to $500.

When questioned by police Lindsey-Latson said she had pawned the MacBook Pro because she had an emergency and needed the money and that she could honestly say that she believed it was her personal computer, according to a probable cause affidavit.

In her statement to a detective Lindsey-Latson said that she thought it was her computer because she has two identical ones at home. She said that she believed that she had pawned the school district's MacBook Pro three times before, but would not be surprised if she had pawned it more times than that.

The probable cause affidavit goes on to state that Lindsey-Latson admitted that she knew that she pawned the school district's property the last three times, but added that the first two times she believed it may have been her own person computer.

Police charged her with false verification of ownership.

The school district released the following statement:

"Ms. Lindsey-Latson is suspended with pay at this time. We will begin our internal investigation once the criminal investigation is complete."