Former Miami principal accused of using school district funds to pay nanny

Joey Bautista, 48, arrested on grand theft, fraud, official misconduct charges

MIAMI – A former principal at Miami Jackson Adult Education Center was arrested Wednesday on accusations that he used Miami-Dade County Public School District funds to pay his nanny and housekeeper.

According to an arrest affidavit, the employee, identified as Adeline Joseph, worked for Joey Bautista, 48, for about a year and a half before he hired her to work as a custodian at the Miami Jackson Adult Education Center.

Authorities said Joseph was hired by the school district in January 2013, and she worked at the Toussaint L'Ouverture Elementary School, an MJA Center satellite facility, for three to four months. 

Detectives said Bautista then reassigned Joseph to work back at his home, where she cleaned and took care of his pre-teen children.

Bautista used school district funds to pay Joseph to work at his home from March 29, 2013, to September 24, 2015, the affidavit said.

Joseph told detectives that she received direct deposit payments from the school district during the time she worked at the principal's home.

Authorities said Bautista signed Joseph's payroll records every other week.

MDCPS records show that Joseph was hired as a "community school activity leader" and was paid more than $41,000 by the school district during the time she worked for Bautista from 2013 to 2015.

Detectives said Bautista claimed that he paid Joseph by giving her cash and writing personal checks, but authorities said he has yet to produce evidence of those checks.

Authorities said Bautista wrote Joseph one personal check in the amount of $200 during the time she worked for the school district.

Detectives said he issued her 17 checks between August 31, 2011, and Oct. 15, 2012, before she was hired by the school district.

Bautista is charged with grand theft, organized scheme to defraud and official misconduct.

He has been employed by Miami-Dade County Public Schools since 1998 and was hired as principal of Miami Jackson Adult Education Center in July 2011.

He was reassigned by the school district in February amid the investigation.

"The employee was placed on special assignment while Miami-Dade Schools Police worked closely with the Inspector General's Office and the State Attorney's Office Public Corruption Unit to investigate and gather evidence," Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said in a statement. "Miami-Dade County Public Schools initiated dismissal proceedings immediately following his arrest.

"The school district holds every employee to the highest standards of professionalism and integrity. We will not tolerate the type of unscrupulous behavior by employees that betrays the trust of our community and belies the core values of the school district."

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