BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH)– An elementary school principal has been charged with stealing thousands of dollars from her students. The city of Bridgeport says 46-year-old Marilyn Taylor was arrested Friday for stealing more than $10,000 from the Dunbar Elementary School fundraising account, and gambling with that money at Mohegan Sun Casino.
Taylor’s landlord, Doug Knapp, says when he heard the news he was shocked, but not really.
“The fact that she was getting all these flyers everyday in the mail from up and down the coast casinos,” said Knapp. He also mentioned her rent was late on several occasions.
Knapp says it’s where she’s accused of stealing the money from, a student fundraising account, that has him concerned.
“That was a complete shock to me,” said Knapp. “I was blown away by it.”
The Superintendent of Bridgeport Schools, Fran Rabinowitz, says Taylor was not a person she would ever expect this from.
“It makes it very difficult because she was very well-liked by the parents and students, and very well-respected by the parents and the community,” said Rabinowitz.
Rabinowtiz says the missing money was discovered by the business office and auditors in late October or early November. Taylor was placed on administrative leave on November 10th. A letter went out to staff and parents letting them know there were irregularities in the student activity account and Taylor was being investigated.
“Was she apologetic when approached about this?” we asked.
“I can’t speak to the interview that took place,” said Rabinowtz.
“Will she be back to work?” we asked.
“No,” said Rabinowtz.
“But she hasn’t been officially fired?” we asked.
“Not yet,” said Rabinowtz.
Knapp says Taylor moved out just days ago and explained she couldn’t pay December’s rent just yet.
“I think it’s the sickness of a gambling addiction,” said Knapp.
Knapp says Taylor moved here from Louisiana and she likely went back there until her scheduled court date on Jan. 2. Taylor is charged with first-degree larceny and posted $20,000 bond.
The city of Bridgeport says they are working diligently to make sure justice is served.