Hoggetowne Middle School

The ex-principal of a local charter school faces felony charges for allegedly spending more than $18,000 in school funds for personal use.

On Tuesday, Gainesville police charged Kristine M. Santos, 38, formerly the principal and president of the board of directors at Hoggetowne Middle School, with grand theft and fraud. She turned herself in Tuesday and was released on her own recognizance.

Last September, Alachua County School District staff went to Hoggetowne to assist the school's new bookkeeper and reported spending irregularities involving a school debit card that Santos used…

A few of the purchases were listed in the complaint. They included approximately $1,500 at Gainesville Health and Fitness for personal training services, an approximately $380 bill at Hilton Hotels Disney and $139.72 at Victoria's Secret.

According to police, school funds were also used to pay off approximately $31,800 in charges on Santos' personal credit card. She reportedly identified approximately $19,593 of those charges as expenditures for the school but could not provide a school-related purpose for the remaining $12,221.11.

Santos told Hoggetowne school officials that she gave her entire credit card bill to the school's accountants and they mistakenly paid the whole bill instead of only the school-related expenses, according to the complaint.

In the complaint, Gainesville Police Detective William Quirk wrote that the standard procedure should be "to submit a request for reimbursement, not to have the bill paid directly by the school."…

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