An Atlanta high school registrar has been suspended after a student’s mother accused him of stealing notarizing fees.
Albert Thomas is accused of charging North Atlanta High School students a $3 notarizing fee to sign a document they need to get driver’s licenses but then pocketing the cash, Channel 2 Action News reported.
The investigation was launched after Leilani Collier said her daughter, who attends the school, was charged the fee.
She knew she could get it notarized for free through her bank, but she told Channel 2, “They made it seem as if we had to get it notarized through the school — through the school’s administrator.”
Collier alleged that Thomas had been charging students the cash-only fee for years, while always keeping the cash for himself. Her son graduated from the high school about two years ago, and she said he had to pay the same $3 fee.
“It’s the principle,” Collier said. “I don’t really care about the $3, but if the registrar is pocketing the $3, that’s what I have a problem with.”
Thomas’ salary for 2018 was $73,432.08, according to state records.
Atlanta Public Schools emailed a statement on the incident that said it “holds high ethical standards for financial management. As such, the employee has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation.”
However, the district said the “notary fee itself is a legitimate fee ... What APS is investigating is an allegation of improper cash receipts and accounting procedures by a school employee in light of our ethics and school budgeting policies.”
Channel 2 was unable to reach Thomas for comment.
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