Theft case involving ex-SD2 administrator goes to county attorney

2014-01-08T16:55:00Z 2014-05-16T12:04:04Z Theft case involving ex-SD2 administrator goes to county attorneyBy ROB ROGERS rrogers@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

The case of a School District 2 administrator, who resigned in November following an investigation into stolen district property, has been advanced to the Yellowstone County Attorney’s office.

“Basically, our investigation is done,” said Billings Police Capt. RD Harper.

Dulce Whitford became the subject of a police investigation after electronics from the school district turned up at a local pawn shop. When news reached SD2 officials, they opened their own internal investigation and placed Whitford on leave.

She resigned a few days later.

Whitford was SD2’s director of Indian Education For All, the state-mandated curriculum program that teaches American Indian culture and history in the classroom. She had been with the district since 2009 and was paid an annual salary of $94,092.

Whitford is accused of felony theft because the value of the stolen goods exceeds $1,500.

Police first learned of the theft in early November when a school district employee reported finding SD2 electronics at First National Pawn. Police began to investigate and a week later Whitford had become their primary suspect.

It was a blow to SD2 officials; Whitford was well liked and respected in the district.

In 2011, she was named Montana Indian Educator of the Year. She was cited for her work in Billings and in Great Falls where she taught for several years before joining SD2. She also had taught summer school, incorporating Indian culture into lessons for students.

During her time at SD2, she encouraged and celebrated the successes of Native American students through programs like an annual spring barbecue where American Indian graduates were celebrated and the high-achievers awarded eagle feathers.

Last month, SD2 named Whitford’s replacement. Glenda McCarthy, who was the Indian education achievement coach at Senior High, was appointed interim director and began the job this week.

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