Former Benton Harbor school chief charged with embezzlement

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (AP) — The former superintendent of the Benton Harbor Area Schools has been charged with embezzlement and obtaining money by false pretenses for alleging cashing in too many vacation days.

Berrien County Prosecutor Michael Sepic says 56-year-old Leonard Seawood of Benton Harbor was arraigned Thursday and freed on bond.

Sepic says Seawood’s contract allowed him to cash out at most five vacation days per year, but he received cash payouts for an extra 75 days, amounting to about $75,000, from 2012 to 2015. Seawood received 25 vacation days per year.

Sepic says the Benton Harbor Board of Education suspended Seawood on April 30, 2015 and later reached a termination agreement with him. He had been superintendent since 2010.

Seawood doesn’t have published telephone number and he could not be reached for comment.