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Published: Tuesday, 12/5/2000

Toledo police seek felon hired as teacher

BY CHRISTINA HALL
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A convicted felon hired by the Academy of Business and Technology charter school in Toledo is wanted by city police for allegedly taking more than $5,500 intended for a car dealership in Monroe and depositing the money into a personal bank account in Toledo.

Eight arrest warrants, four for theft and four for forgery, were issued yesterday against Luther C. McKinstry III, 30, of Toledo. The incidents allegedly occurred while he worked at Momentum Lincoln-Mercury, police said.

“He made himself an authorized person for the car dealership and established an account in Toledo,” Detective Larry Anderson said.

Last week, The Blade reported that Mr. McKinstry, who was hired at the charter school at a rate of $25,000 to be a physical education teacher and a substitute teacher, had served time in prison for drug trafficking, theft, and forgery.

He was sent home Thursday after a reporter asked about his employment. Dr. Imelda Hunt, the school's principal, was put on leave Friday. Calls to the school and the school's management company, Charter School Administration Services, Inc., of Southfield, Mich., were not returned.

Mr. McKinstry apparently worked at the Michigan car dealership from late June through early October in the financial department, Detective Anderson said. He was fired Oct. 9 because of “poor work performance,” according to a police report.

“We don't have any comments at this time,” said a man who answered the phone at the dealership and declined to identify himself.

The alleged incidents occurred in September and October and were reported in mid-November, police said.

Mr. McKinstry allegedly took two women's insurance checks, one for $911 and another for $1,285 that were to be used to pay for damaged vehicles, and put the money into his bank account.

He allegedly took personal checks belonging to two other women, one for $1,315 that was to be used as a down payment on a vehicle and others for $2,000 that were made out to the dealership, according to court records.

Mr. McKinstry was hired full-time by the charter school, 1456 Woodland Ave., on Nov. 20 despite Dr. Hunt's awareness that he had a criminal record.

She said he assured her his record had been cleared.

Mr. McKinstry served six months in Ohio prisons in 1992 for a drug-trafficking conviction in Sandusky County. He was in prison from June, 1996, to June, 1998, for convictions of forgery and theft, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction records show.



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