Former Benton Harbor schools chief appeal fails in scheme to get unused vacation pay

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BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan appeals court has affirmed the conviction of the former school superintendent of Benton Harbor who was charged with embezzlement after collecting thousands of dollars for unused vacation days.

Leonard Seawood argued that the district didn’t suffer a loss because he actually worked on those days. But the appeals court says it doesn’t matter: His contract only allowed him to be paid for five unused days a year.

Seawood got $46,000 for 110 unused vacation days. He was Benton Harbor superintendent for five years until 2015.

The appeals court last week said Seawood deceived the school district by claiming pay that wasn’t justified. He was sentenced last year to 90 days in jail.

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