When a former school superintendent is indicted, it's a big deal.
That's what happened last week when Walter Lee was indicted and arrested on charges of felony theft, malfeasance in office and public contract fraud. Investigators claim he "double-billed" the state and the school district for expenses. The charges stem from his time as superintendent of the DeSoto Parish Schools.
Indictments like these are disturbing on many levels. First, it undermines the public's trust in our officials. We've become skeptical anyway. This just makes it that much worse. And second, what kind of signal does it send to the school children of DeSoto Parish? The superintendent is someone to look up to, to trust--not someone to see in handcuffs.
Is Walter Lee innocent or guilty of the charges? That's up to a court to decide. In the meantime, the citizens of DeSoto Parish are left wondering if one of their most respected public officials deserved that respect.
I'm James Smith.