Polk Co. investigation reveals former middle school principal's history of stealing from schools

Ginger Collins was also arrested in January 2017
Posted at 11:54 AM, Jul 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-21 18:01:33-04

A Polk County woman who has been arrested previously for stealing from a school where she was employed, has been arrested again and is facing multiple fraud and theft charges for reportedly stealing from another school where she was previously employed. 

Ginger Collins, 46, was arrested for a second time on Friday, July 21. 

The former Kathleen Middle School Principal is facing 60 counts of dealing in stolen property, 16 counts of passing forged or altered documents, 2 counts fraudulent use of credit card, 1 count obtaining property by fraud, 1 count money laundering, 1 count grand theft. 

RELATED | Former School Administrator Accused of Stealing $105K

The crimes occurred while Collins was Principal of Kathleen Middle School. She resigned from her position in June 2015 and was hired by McKeel Academy as Assistant Director of Academics. She resigned from that position in September 2016 when she was confronted by school officials about suspected fraud and theft. 

Collins reportedly stole $105,426 from McKeel Academy in Lakeland. She was arrested by Polk County Sheriff's Office on January 10, 2017 and released from jail on January 12, 2017 after posting $39,000 bail.

Collins was arrested again on Friday, July 21 for charges pertaining to her time at Kathleen Middle School.

Sheriff Grady Judd said in a press conference on Friday that "She may be too pretty to go to work, but she's not too pretty to go to jail."

The Polk County School District released the following statement on Collins' second arrest:

Superintendent Jacqueline M. Byrd:

We are aware of the arrest of former employee, Ginger Collins, on charges of stealing from the school district.

Ms. Collins previously served as principal at Kathleen Middle before finding employment within a local charter school.

Kathleen Middle’s incoming principal conducted an inventory that was instrumental in this investigation.

We appreciate the Polk County Sheriff’s Office being swift and professional in responding to this situation. We are cooperating fully with law enforcement in their investigation.

As educators and public servants, we are rightfully held to a high standard. We are disappointed by any allegations of misconduct. We are entrusted to be good stewards of resources, and theft or misuse of those resources is unacceptable.