Top educator accused of stealing over $100K from reading program

Source: Adult Literacy Barrow

He was once named Georgia's school superintendent of the year but now the former leader of Barrow County Schools is accused of stealing from a non-profit that helps people learn to read.

Before he was charged with forgery and felony theft, Doctor Robert R. Saunders recently received awards of distinction for his leadership role at Adult Literacy Barrow for helping people learn how to read.

But police said he used that same position of power to take money from the non-profit group by writing checks with fake signatures.

In a donation form posted online, the program boasts getting $1.4 million dollars worth of matching grants.

The warrant against Saunders says he stole $111,000.00 of that money over a two year period.

The literacy program is run out of Lanier Technical College, and the group's board of directors brought the first complaint to police.

None of the members on that board would speak to CBS46 on camera, but one director told us over the phone, they hope this will turn out to be a misunderstanding.

CBS46 wanted to get Dr. Saunders' side of the story, so we stopped by his house Friday. His wife answered the door, but she did not want to respond to the accusations.

This is the statement from Adult Literacy Barrow sent to CBS46 Friday afternoon:

The Board of Directors of Adult Literacy Barrow contacted Barrow County Sheriff’s office when suspicious financial activity was discovered earlier this week. Their investigation yielded additional evidence and ultimately charges of Theft by Taking against the Executive Director, Dr. Ron Saunders. We understand that on the morning of July 21st, Dr. Saunders was arrested and charged by the Sheriff’s Office. As of this morning, Dr. Saunders has been terminated from this position.

There will be no interruption in any adult literacy classes, GED prep classes, and classes for adults learning English as a second language.

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