The former principal of the Uptown Complex School in Atlantic City was acquitted this afternoon of stealing more than $10,000 in money meant for the school.
Lekecia Hyman broke down in tears as the second not guilty on the two charges was read, ending a more than three-year-long ordeal.
She then hugged her attorney, Ed Jacobs.
Hyman was suspended with pay in February 2014, after more than $10,000 in fund-raising money for the school was discovered missing. She was charged that summer, and has not been paid in 18 months.
Jacobs said after the verdict that he will now move to have her reinstated and given back pay.
“You can’t prove something that never happened,” he told the jurors during his closing argument.
Wrapping up the case, Jacobs pointed to two state witnesses that could have possibly been involved in the money’s disappearance, including a woman who Hyman had said could no longer accept money after funds disappeared in 2009.
“The judge will read you the definition of third-party guilt,” Jacobs said. “I encourage you to listen to it.”
It appears they did.
The jurors deliberated just more than an hour before reaching their verdict.
Outside the courtroom, Jacobs said “the investigation was not as thorough as it should have been.”