TPS athletic director suspended


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Reported by: Sharon Phillips
Updated: 11/15/2011 6:31 pm Published: 11/15/2011 10:53 am



Tulsa Public Schools has suspended its Athletic Director and two assistants.
This comes after an investigation into allegations of computer hacking.

Dr. Stephanie Spring, Trish Pruitt and Jon Wheeler are on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of an investigation into the alleged violation of the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act.

Spring works at the Education Service Center. She oversees sports for Tulsa Public Schools.
It’s those sports that try to instill values in 40,000 kids in the district, but now the values of her office are under scrutiny as the DA looks into claims of email hacking.

“Back in July of this year, a complaint was filed in relation to a possible violation of the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act,” says Officer Jason Willingham.

That person is Cheryl Murphy, the former secretary for Spring.
She claims Spring tried to fire her earlier this year for being a whistle-blower about alleged corruption in the athletic department.

Murphy says that Spring hacked into her email account, along with assistants Wheeler and Pruitt.

The district is not commenting on what led to the suspensions of Spring, Wheeler and Pruitt, however Superintendent, Dr. Keith Ballard released this statement:

"TPS today has suspended Athletic Director Stephanie Spring and Assistant Athletic Directors, Jon Wheeler and Trish Pruitt pending further decisions on each individual's employment status. These suspensions are with full pay and benefits as required by law. Because it is a personnel matter, no further information can be released at this time."

Spring became a teacher for Tulsa Public Schools in 1990, and then nine years later she became the Athletic Director for TPS.

“We have a unit and that's what they're there for to investigate these types of crimes,” says Willingham.

All three employees were suspended with pay and benefits as required by law.

It will now be up to the DA’s office to determine whether or not to file any charges.

For now, Stephen Mayfield, Executive Assistant to the Associate Superintendent of Secondary Schools will serve as acting TPS Athletic Director.

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