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Durham School Board Member-Elect Charged With Felonies

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DURHAM, N.C. — A former Durham city councilwoman and member-elect of the school board has been charged with obtaining property by false pretenses.

Jackie Wagstaff has been charged with obtaining property by false pretenses. The former city councilor heads up a nonprofit organization that runs programs for low-income kids.

The district attorney's office claims Wagstaff altered city documents to convince a bus company to take inner city children from North East Central Durham on a field trip. Wagstaff would not comment on Wednesday, but in an earlier interview, she denied any criminal activity.

"I didn't sit down for weeks and maliciously plot about doing this," she said.

Next Tuesday, school board members will hold a special meeting at 10 a.m. at the central office, where they could start laying the groundwork for any action they may take regarding Wagstaff.

"If there's a question about a board member's suitability to serve, the state board needs to be informed there's an issue, then they would direct us to conduct an investigation," said Kathyrn Myers, chairwoman of the school board.

Parents are divided about Wagstaff's suitablity to guide their children's education.

"It sets a bad example for people who want to be in her position and it sets a bad example for the school system," parent Muriel Edwards said.

"Everybody should stop being biased and let her tell her side of the story," parent Dorothy Wright said.

Wagstaff is out of jail on $10,000 bond. She is expected in court Monday.

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