Former Benton Harbor schools chief sentenced to jail time

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (AP) — The former superintendent of the Benton Harbor Area Schools has been sentenced to 90 days in jail and five years of probation following his embezzlement convictions.

A Berrien County judge also sentenced Leonard Seawood to five years of probation on Wednesday following the former superintendent’s December convictions on five counts of embezzlement and obtaining money under false pretenses. He was accused of embezzling more than $40,000 by taking payouts for unused vacation days.

WSBT-TV reports Seawood’s attorneys asked for leniency. They said their client has already lost a lot and incarceration wasn’t necessary.

Seawood has maintained that he received authorization for the payouts. The Benton Harbor man was suspended from the district in 2015 and later fired following an investigation by Michigan State Police. He had been superintendent since 2010.