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Embezzlement trial of Dr. Seawood - prosecution rests

BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. -- The trial of Dr. Leonard Seawood, the former Benton Harbor Area Schools Superintendent, continued Wednesday. Seawood has been charged with embezzlement and obtaining money by false pretenses.

The prosecution called a former school board president and a former business administrator at the district to testify.

The former president testified she remembered signing a vacation request form, but not a vacation sell-back form.

The business administrator explained the payroll paperwork process.

The last two witnesses for the prosecution were Seawood's secretary and the interim superintendent who took over for Dr. Seawood.

Dr. Seawood's secretary, Marion Edwards (now retired), testified that she never physically saw or read Seawood’s contract. She maintained his schedule and said she could only recall one or two times he took any time off throughout 5 years working for him.

Gregory Weatherspoon was brought in by the state to serve as interim superintendent from July 2015 to Jan 2016. His testimony focused on the general role of a superintendent, the position's relationship to the school board and the state of BHAS during his tenure.

Weatherspoon testified that any change made to a superintendent’s contract had to be presented to and then approved by the school board. He said the board was very unorganized during his tenure, lacking bylaws and guidelines that would allow it to function properly.

The prosecution rested its case after calling 8 people to testify and the court took a recess for lunch.

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