BALTIMORE (WBFF) - A Project Baltimore investigation has found Baltimore City Public Schools has been paying a six-figure salary to a principal who wasn’t working for City Schools. She wasn’t even in the country.
“There's a lot of corruption in Baltimore's public schools,” explained one long-time City Schools employee who sat down with Fox45. “Everyone seems to be ignoring the corruption that’s in the city's schools.”
Fearing retaliation, Fox45’s source doesn’t want to be identified. But she suggested Project Baltimore investigate Edmondson-Westside High School. At first, nothing seemed out of place. Then, we looked at City Schools payroll and noticed something strange. Edmondson was paying two principals.
Why would a school system with significant financial problems pay for two principals at a relatively small elementary school?
To find the answer, Project Baltimore called the school and learned Karl Perry is the current principal. The other name on payroll, Muriel Cole-Webber, is also a principal. But this investigation found she’s not working in Baltimore. She’s not in Maryland. She’s not even in the United States. She’s principal of a high school 6,500 miles away in Al Jahra, Kuwait.
“Good question,” replied our source, when asked how Webber can be paid while not working for the school system. “That's the answer that the city should be looking for.”
Project Baltimore spent months looking for that answer. In 2016, Webber was principal at Edmondson. Our source says she left in the fall. In April of 2017, Perry officially took over as Edmondson principal. By November, Webber was listed as principal on Kuwait Bilingual School’s website. Yet, at the end of 2017, she remained on the City Schools payroll, earning $117,906.
“They're receiving double pay,” our source said. “City schools could use that money. Every dollar that they can get.”
Over the summer, Fox45 repeatedly visited Webber’s Baltimore home, but she was never there. One person, who did answer the door, confirmed she’s in Kuwait.
Project Baltimore called her middle eastern school, and left messages that were never returned.
The principal’s union in Baltimore that represented Webber, directed us to North Avenue, which told us, “Ms. Webber is no longer an employee of City Schools. The district does not comment on personnel matters relating to current or former employees.” – Edie House Foster, Baltimore City Public Schools
Baltimore City Schools suffers almost annual budget deficits. This year, it directly impacted students when many schools closed because they didn’t have heat in January or air conditioning in early September. But what City Schools did have was a principal earning a six-figure salary while working in another country.
“The mayor should be outraged. Parents should be outraged by what is going on, and what has gone on,” our source told us. “Everyone should be outraged.”
City Schools did tell Fox45 in an email that Webber was removed from the payroll in early 2018. That would mean she stayed on the payroll for about 15 months after our source says