- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 5, 2014

MANSFIELD, La. (AP) - A former DeSoto Parish schools superintendent appeared Wednesday in state district court for arraignment on four felony charges.

KTBS-TV reports (https://bit.ly/1kZOM7Y ) Walter C. Lee, 79, pleaded not guilty to two counts of felony theft and one count each of public contract fraud and malfeasance in office.

The charges stem from allegations outlined in an investigative audit by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s office.

Lee is accused of double-billing expenses to the school district and to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, on which he currently serves.

He’s also accused of personally benefiting from the return of a leased vehicle and intentionally performing his duties as a superintendent in an unlawful manner.

A pretrial date has been set for April 22.

The Times reports (https://bit.ly/1ooEePN) Lee retired Nov. 2, 2012 from the school system but continues to serve on BESE. A felony conviction would require his resignation from BESE.

Lee surrendered to the DeSoto Parish sheriff’s office within hours of his indictment in January. He’s been free on a $50,000 cash bond.

District Attorney Richard Johnson said he’s had not had any contact with Lee’s attorney, Taylor Townsend, since Lee’s arrest.

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Information from: KTBS-TV, https://ktbs.com

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