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Putnam school board accepts resignation of principal charged with computer fraud

The Putnam County school board has accepted the resignation of Poca High School Principal Bradley Knell, charged in September with two counts of computer fraud.

Board members accepted Knell’s resignation Monday night, Putnam County School Superintendent John Hudson said.

A criminal complaint filed in Putnam County Magistrate Court said Knell made multiple purchases on a debit card that belonged to a Poca High School booster. The complaint said the first fraudulent charge was made on Sept. 1 at the Poca GoMart that sits across the street from Poca High School.

On Sept. 13, 2016, the complaint said Knell used the booster's card to purchase fuel for his personal vehicle at the Sheetz in Rock Branch.

The complaint said investigators interviewed the cardholder, who told them she had never given Knell access to the card or account.

Following the filing of the charges, Putnam County Schools released a statement on Knell's arrest:

“Putnam County Schools administration is aware of the recent arrest of a Putnam County Schools employee and the serious allegations asserted against the employee. Upon being informed of the arrest, at the direction of administration, the employee has not been in the school or on board property. As the superintendent, in compliance with the applicable West Virginia school laws that govern employees and the due process rights afforded to employees, I am unable to provide anything further at this time.

Deputies arrested Knell Thursday and he was released on bond.”

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