Steve Rogers

About Steve Rogers

Assistant News Director/Assignment Editor; degree in finance and administration from Yale University; 35 years experience in journalism.

Teacher Continues on Payroll Despite Charges

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — A Columbus High teacher suspended last fall after being indicted on federal fraud charges continues to be paid.

Special Education teacher Darcel Gardner was put on paid administrative leave after she and 13 other teachers across the Southeast were indicted for paying a Memphis man to hire someone else to take their Praxis certification exam. Gardner allegedly paid to have her biology certification test taken in 2009.

Gardner had worked at Columbus High since January 2011. She previously worked in Pickens County, Ala.

Most of the other teachers indicted were terminated shortly after their arrest and agreed to give up their teacher licenses as part of plea agreements in federal court.

Gardner’s case has been continued five times and she remains on the school district’s payroll. Her trial is set in October.