The principal of West St. Mary High School near Baldwin is on leave after he was arrested on a theft charge.
Donald Joseph Sanders III, 41, was booked with theft between $1,000 and $5,000, records show.
We reached out to the school system and received this statement:
"St. Mary Parish Schools was made aware of the arrest of West St. Mary High School Principal Donald Sanders III by the St. Mary Parish Sherriff’s office earlier today. While the school system does not comment on personnel matters given the strict confidentiality associated with such matters, Superintendent Teresa Bagwell can confirm that Mr. Sanders has been placed on administrative leave with pay pending results of the investigation," the statement reads. "Ms. Ashley Clark, who currently serves as the school’s assistant principal, will assume the position of “acting” principal in the interim."
St. Mary Parish deputies say a detective was called to a complaint of theft at West St. Mary High School. An investigation was opened, and Sanders was developed as the suspect in a theft of money at the school, deputies say.
Detectives obtained a warrant for Sanders’ arrest and made contact with him on Thursday morning. He was transported to the St. Mary Parish Law Enforcement Center for booking. Bail has not been set.
This is not the first time Sanders has been arrested.
In March 2021, Sanders was arrested by Berwick Police and booked on a charge of theft. Officers were called to a local business by a woman who said someone stole her cell phone. They used surveillance cameras to identify a suspect, and when they caught up with him officers allegedly saw him toss the stolen cell into a trash can. Sanders allegedly told officers that he picked up the phone by mistake.