Principal Relieved of Duties After Embezzlement Allegations

The principal of a Northern Virginia middle school and her former finance technician have been relieved of their duties after embezzlement allegations surfaced earlier this week.

Sonya Swansbrough, 46, principal of Poe Middle School Annandale, Va., and Bethany Speed, 38, were arrested and charged with embezzlement and money laundering Tuesday morning.

They're accused of cheating the school system out of more than $100,000 by allegedly falsifying timesheets for personal financial gain, beginning as early as May 2010.

The two were in court for their first hearing Thursday.

“Her character is impeccable. Her reputation is fabulous,” Swansbrough's lawyer John Zwerling said. “It’s just out of character. I think it’s just an improper charge, and we’re going to find out why.”

The two women are due back in court Feb. 4.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call police at 1-866-411-TIPS.

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