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FBI: School official lived it up

PONTIAC, Mich., March 22 (UPI) -- A former Pontiac, Mich., school official charged with embezzling $236,000 bought a used Jaguar and leased a new Mercedes, an FBI affidavit says.

Jumanne Sledge, 40, of Bloomfield Hills, former associate superintendent in the district, is free on bond. The affidavit was filed in January to support a request for a warrant to search his home, The Detroit News reported.

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Other spending detailed in the affidavit includes $4,000 on a short trip to Chicago and shopping at high-end stores. Sledge allegedly got a Pontiac employee in 2010 to cut a check for $236,000 to a "Leadership Academy" and then deposited the money in an account belonging to "World Class Leadership Academy," a company that lists him as resident agent.

The affidavit also said Sledge wrongly got Pontiac to pay his law school tuition and arranged a job for an unqualified friend.

Sledge was indicted earlier this month on charges that include money laundering and fraud.

Deborah Gordon is a lawyer representing Jonathan Brown, Pontiac's former interim superintendent, in a civil suit. Brown says he was terminated for trying to investigate fraud in Pontiac.

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"It just makes your stomach drop. It's sickening, the abject impunity with which this guy went about spending money that should have gone to the most needy in our community -- children that need schooling," Gordon said. "To think my client lost his job because he was looking into all this."

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