BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A Buffalo parent and teacher's aide who claims a principal forged her signature on important documents is now planning on filing criminal charges.
Timekia Jones says Principal Brigette Gillespie admitted forging Jones' name, but then insisted Jones drop the allegation. Gillespie allegedly forged Jones' name on a school plan used to help secure state and federal funds based on students needs.
"When I looked at the signature, I said, oh now, that's not mine. Then I looked at the date of the plan. The date when it was signed was August 30. I was in the hospital at Buffalo General," Jones said.
Jones is a teacher's aide at Harvey Austin Elementary School 97 and has two children there. She says she was never made aware of meetings she supposedly attended. She says Gillespie finally admitted to signing Jones' name on at least one of the documents.
"She said I'll take full responsibility because I'm the principal," Jones said.
But then Jones found that her name was forged four more times on documents dating back to last year. Now she is filing criminal charges against the principal, who she says, retaliated against her.
"They changed my schedule, separated me from the other employees, taken me off of parent projects that I had been a part of, eliminating me from parent involvement altogether," Jones said.
In a sworn affidavit to the State Education Department, Jones says Gillespie told her that if Gillespie gets arrested, Jones would have to be transferred out of the school, impacting her job and her kids continued presence at the school.
Parent group leader Sam Radford says this case calls calls for an investigation district-wide into other documents bearing parent signatures.
"This is federal and state grant money all across the board. I'm talking about hundreds of millions of dollars of federal and state grant money," Radford said.
Radford says Gillespie has backed-off on the alleged retaliation. Jones is taking her case to the U.S. Attorney's Office alleging forgery, identity theft and falsifying a document.
A spokesman for the school district would only say there is an ongoing investigation.
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