North Miami - NMB

North Miami ends funding for night-school program after principal’s arrest

Jean Coty Ridore
Jean Coty Ridore North Miami High

North Miami has suspended grant funding to the North Miami Senior High adult education program, following the arrest of the school’s night-school principal.

The city had provided grant funding to the Adult Education Center since the 2012-13 fiscal year with the initial funding totaling $50,000. The funds were intended to provide scholarships for residents to attend the program. The city had budgeted about $100,000 for the 2015-16 fiscal year.

“In light of the recent arrest and on-going criminal investigation of matters involving North Miami Adult Education Center, the city of North Miami has suspended grant funding to the program effective immediately,” Deputy City Manager Arthur Sorey said in a statement. “I have also ordered a comprehensive review of all policies and procedures concerning how this grant was awarded and administered.”

The former principal, 38-year-old Jean Coty Ridore, was arrested Monday and charged with unlawful compensation, grand theft and official misconduct. Authorities said he accepted $1,000 to hire a fake employee and then asked for illegal kickbacks from the employee. The no-show hire was an undercover Miami police detective.

Ridore, who had been with the school since July 2005, was in charge of more than 400 employees and had a salary of more than $110,000. The investigation began in part because of anonymous complaints that he was running the school improperly and had hired at least 20 no-show employees.

Investigators with the state attorney's office and the Miami-Dade Inspector General's Office believe Ridore had other employees helping him input false hours worked for the no-show employees, according to an arrest warrant released on Monday.

Ridore’s arraignment hearing is set for Nov. 4. North Miami’s next regular city council meeting is Oct. 13.

Lance Dixon: 305-376-3708, @LDixon_3