Elementary school assistant principal accused of grand theft

Man accused of stealing from Jacksonville school donor's bank account

By Elizabeth Campbell - Reporter, Steve Patrick - News4Jax digital managing editor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The 34-year-old assistant principal of John Stockton Elementary School was arrested Thursday afternoon, accused stealing money donated to the school

Jamall Collins was arrested at the Duval County School Police office, away from campus and not in the presence of any students, the school's principal announced in a robocall to parents Thursday afternoon. In her call, Brannan said to parents that educators must “set the best possible example for children.”

LISTEN: Principal Stephanie Brannan's message

According to the arrest report, an orthodontist whose business gave a $2,000 check to the school that contained the donor's bank account and routing numbers. When she noticed several unauthorized transactions on her next bank statement -- one to an insurance company and another a rent payment to the Monument Road apartment complex where Collins lived, she called police.

The woman told police she recalled meeting Collins at a "The Friends of Stockton" fundraiser. 

The report said a desk clerk at the school's front officer remembered Collins take an envelope containing a donation, commenting, "That's a big check." Then, rather than putting the envelope in the "Friends of Stockton" collection box, saying, "I think I'm supposed to hold those."

Collins was booked into the Duval County jail Thursday and released about 24 hours later on $7,000 bond. He told News4Jax by phone he couldn't say anything and referred us to his attorney.

Duval County schools said Collins was reassigned from the school to a district level assignment on Nov. 30 while the case was investigated.

Collins was hired as a teacher by Duval County schools in August 2017 and was appointed as the assistant principal just before this school year.

In addition to the criminal investigation of Collins, the school district’s office of professional standards will conduct an independent investigation as required by district policy and procedure. Spokeswoman Laureen Ricks said the superintendent intends to pursue termination, but that must be approved by the School Board.

Parents like Tammy Burns were glad the arrest happened off campus. She said Collis was always nicely dressed and was polite to parents and students.

"My daughter was asking questions about it and (wanted) to know he was in that type of position and he would still do something like that to himself," Burns said. "That’s kind of sad. It’s a shock, for sure."

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