AP NEWS

Ex-superintendent sentenced to three years in prison

March 2, 2019
Logan Banner File Photo Phyllis Doty

CHARLESTON - Former Logan County Schools superintendent Phyllis Doty on Friday was sentenced to more than three years in federal prison after being convicted on eight separate criminal counts last August.

According to U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart, Doty, 64, was sentenced to 42 months in prison, three years’ supervised release and was ordered to pay $25,083 in restitution. Her state pension was also suspended as a result of her felony conviction.

During her trial, Doty was found guilty of four counts of wire fraud, two counts of theft from a program receiving federal funds, one count of mail fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

Judge David A. Faber, the judge overseeing the trial, called Doty’s actions “a serious breach of public trust.” Following the sentencing, U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart tweeted that he agreed with the judge’s sentence.

“I strongly agree,” Stuart said. “This office takes public corruption SERIOUSLY. There is no such thing as a little bit of corruption.”

According to evidence presented at Doty’s trial, beginning in September 2011, she purchased $12,000 in iPods and iPads with school system money and sold them or gave them to family members. Federal prosecutors told jury members that at least 20 devices were stolen.

Testimony by Doty’s former secretary confirmed that several devices sold on eBay were connected to a mobile number issued to Doty by the Logan County Board of Education.

The jury also found that Doty used $6,500 in school system money to purchase items to be used as decorations for her son’s wedding. The items included bread baskets, easels, drink dispensers, columns and decorative urns. Doty told the purchasing director that the items were wanted by the band director at Chapmanville Middle School.

Doty picked the items up from the school in July 2015 and they were used in the wedding, which was held there on Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015. An employee at Chapmanville Middle testified that he was paid by Doty to load the items onto a vehicle at the school and unload them at the wedding reception.

She later tried to cover up the purchases by attempting to influence employees of the Logan County Board of Education to say they had requested the electronics and other items instead for school programs or to state that she had permission to take the electronics. She also asked the wedding planner to return items to Chapmanville Middle.

Doty’s sentencing hearing was originally scheduled for Jan. 30, but was postponed for an unknown reason. Doty will self-report to federal prison on April 1.

Dylan Vidovich is a news reporter for HD Media. Contact him by phone at 304-896-5196 or follow him on Twitter @DVidovichLB.