Former Logan County Schools Superintendent Sentenced on Charges Relating to Fraud Scheme
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Phyllis Doty, a former Superintendent of Logan County Schools, was sentenced to 42 months in prison and three years of supervised release, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. She was also ordered to pay the full amount of restitution in the amount of $25,083.10. Doty, 65, was convicted by a federal jury sitting in Charleston on August 31, 2018 of felony counts of conviction, including four counts of wire fraud, two counts of theft from a program receiving federal funds, one count of mail fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. The guilty verdict came after a four day jury trial. The Court did not impose a fine based on the finding that Doty’s significant state pension has been suspended as a result of her felony conviction.
“Doty’s sentence is another signal of my commitment to punish public corruption,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “To quote Judge Faber, “It is a serious breach of the public trust.” I agree. There’s no such thing as a little bit of public corruption. As is clear from my record, this office takes public corruption and violations of the public trust extremely seriously. In each case in which the public trust is violated we will prosecute to the maximum extent of the law. The public deserves honest public officials. I want to thank my prosecution team, the FBI and the West Virginia Commission on Special Investigations for their extraordinary work in this case.”
Doty, who retired from Logan County Schools in 2016, stole over $12,000 in electronic devices purchased by the Logan County Board of Education and used public funds to decorate and supply her son's August 2015 wedding. The scheme began in 2011 when the Logan County Board of Education regularly purchased Apple iPods and iPads for Logan County Schools staff. The jury found that between 2011 and 2015, Doty stole at least 20 of these devices, and either sold them on eBay for profit, or gave them to family members as gifts. Doty directed the purchase of the devices or purchased them herself, and then sold them online or gave them away to her family.
Doty’s scheme also included ordering over $6,500 in wedding supplies with Logan County Board of Education money. These items included bread baskets, easels, drink dispensers, columns, decorative urns and a colonnade. Doty claimed that these items were requested by Logan County teachers. However, the teachers testified that they knew nothing of these orders and the items mostly remained in boxes until they were used for the wedding. Evidence at trial showed that Doty gave some of these items away to the wedding planner following the wedding.
Doty further attempted to cover up her scheme once an investigation into suspicious spending became public. She attempting to influence Logan County teachers of the falsehood that she had permission to take iPods purchased by the Logan County Board of Education. She also asked the wedding planner to return the gifted urns to a Logan County school.
Former Assistant United States Attorney Gabe Wohl and Assistant United States Attorney Erik S. Goes were responsible for the prosecution. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the West Virginia Legislature Commission on Special Investigations investigated the matter. Senior United States District Judge David A. Faber presided over the hearing.