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Charlotte Catholic High principal resigns; audit finds ‘questionable disbursements’

Jerry Healy has resigned as principal of Charlotte Catholic High School on the heels of an independent audit of the school’s financial accounts that found “areas of concern.”

In a Wednesday letter to parents, diocesan superintendent of schools Janice Ritter announced that Healy was leaving and that a recent “financial investigation” turned up “questionable disbursements” from accounts belonging to the school of 1,400 students.

The 66-year-old Healy, who has been principal since 2003 and an employee of Charlotte Catholic schools since 1971, was placed on paid administrative leave in March while the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte investigated possible mishandling of funds.

In his resignation letter, Healy did not address any allegations of financial impropriety.

In his only apparent reference to the controversy surrounding his case, Healy wrote that “I regret any turmoil and upset that has caused distraction from the mission and values of our school and our students.”

Mostly, Healy’s Tuesday letter to Ritter and Monsignor Mauricio West, the diocese’s vicar general, relayed his gratitude for his years of service in the school system and his hopes for students, teachers, staff and alumni.

Healy was popular with many parents and alumni, and Wednesday’s news prompted online support from some of them.

In her Wednesday letter, Ritter disclosed that Deloitte Financial Services, which was hired to review accounts belonging to Charlotte Catholic High School, “did discover questionable disbursements” and “other areas of concern.”

These accounts, she added, are “separate and apart” from accounts of the Charlotte Catholic High School Foundation, which appeared to be the focus of the investigation when Healy was placed on leave. The foundation was founded in 1974 to support the school, and has a scholarship fund that is named for Healy’s late daughter, Megan.

In March, Ritter told parents in a letter that the foundation had informed the diocese that “it believes certain Foundation funds may not have been used for proper purposes.”

In her Wednesday letter, Ritter offered no additional details about what the auditors found and whether foundation funds were tampered with. She told parents that, because this is a “personnel issue … my comments must be limited.”

On Healy, Ritter wrote that “he had a positive impact on the lives of many students and their parents. It is my hope he will be remembered in that light.”

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