School Board Accepts Resignation of Embattled Superintendent

Eleanor Cruz is accused of stealing $15,000 from the town of Hebron while serving as superintendent there.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCConnecticut.com/Plymouth Public Schools
    The Plymouth Board of Education has reached a separation agreement with Supt. Eleanor Cruz, who's accused of stealing $15,000 from her former school system.

    The Plymouth Board of Education has voted unanimously to accept the resignation of a supertinendent accused of stealing $15,000 from her former school system.

    Board members voted unanimously to approve the motion Thursday night as part of a settlement with superintendent Eleanor Cruz, whose resignation is effective Aug. 31.

    The terms of the settlement have not been disclosed, but the decision was met with applause.

    Cruz was arrested in August after allegedly stealing $15,000 from the town of Hebron while she was serving as the superintendent there. She was asked not to report to work in Plymouth while the school board investigates.

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    The Plymouth school board held a special meeting tonight to discuss the future of the superintendent, who is accused of stealing money from her former school system. (Published Thursday, Sep 4, 2014)

    According to the warrant for her arrest, Cruz charged personal expenses to school district credit cards, including clothing, groceries, gardening supplies and pharmacy purchases.

    She’s also accused of using taxpayer dollars to pay a private consultant for analyzing Plymouth Board of Education data shortly before she left Hebron for Plymouth, according to an audit conducted by the Hebron school board.

    The Plymouth school board moved to terminate Cruz at a meeting Aug. 13 and appointed Raymond Engle to lead an investigation into her conduct.

    Tonight the board appointed Mark Winzler interim superintendent while they search for a permanent replacement.

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    Eleanor Cruz faced a judge hours before the Plymouth Board of Education met to discuss appointment of an acting superintendent. (Published Tuesday, Aug 26, 2014)

    Winzler, who will assume the role Sept. 15, has served as interim superintendent in several school districts, including Columbia, East Hampton, Rocky Hill, Watertown, Berlin and Granby.

    Plymouth business manager Michael Santogotta has been leading the school district since Cruz's suspension.

    Cruz will face a judge Sept. 12.