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Superintendent Posts Bond After Being Arrested

The Como Pickton ISD superintendent is arrested, accused of using thousands of dollars in school funds for himself.  Bryan Neal is charged with one count of forgery and two counts of "using a false statement to obtain property or credit".

Neal posted a $10,000 bond this morning. Como Pickton school board members suspended Neal with pay at an emergency meeting on Saturday.

"All I heard was he was arrested yesterday on three warrants," said Como resident Art Foster. Foster is one of 200 people who attended last night's school board meeting, trying to get some answers.  "A lot of people were wanting information but they weren't giving out information they wanted on it because of the investigation," said Foster.  

Superintendent Neal has been with Como Pickton ISD for six years.  According to court documents, Neal is charged with buying a tractor and a four-wheeler under the school's name in August 2005, at a combined cost of $30,000.  Hopkins County  District Attorney Martin Braddy said Neal was paying off the amount by having $565.86 deducted from his paycheck every month.  Braddy says he speculates that Neal bought the equipment under the school's name to save some money.  "It appears that the motivation to do this was to avoid sales taxes as well as get a discounted rate," said Braddy.

Neal is also charged with forging someone's signature for a $1,800 check written to him. "It's always disheartening when you place someone in a position of trust and for that person to misuse that personal trust for their own personal gain, is very serious to us," said Braddy.

We tried speaking with several parents who did not want to go on camera, but did express their concern over how much money Neal reportedly ended up misspending.  We also tried talking with the school board president and a school board member, who both referred us to the assistant superintendent.

Assistant Superintendent Sandra Billodeau says Neal's suspension will not affect the students that attend Como Pickton.  "We want to make sure that our school continues to focus on the learning process and what's in the best interest of our students," said Billodeau.

Billodeau says the school board will conduct a through investigation.  She says the school board might discuss Neal's employment status at their next meeting.  Braddy says his office and the Texas Rangers will conduct a full investigation to see whether Neal faces any more criminal charges.

Oralia Ortega, Reporting.


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