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Two SCSD teachers agree to pay $31,782 for overreporting hours worked for grant funded program

WAER file photo

Two Syracuse City School district teachers have agreed to pay more than $31,000 dollars to the federal government to resolve allegations of fraud. US Attorney Carla Freedman says in a release that Jason Cecile and Nichole Murray submitted false timecards in connection with the district’s federally funded high school dropout prevention program.

Jason Cecile was the coordinator of the Twilight program at Henninger High School. Freedman says he instructed program staff members to claim hours based on the amount of money available in the Twilight budget, not the hours they worked. Cecile admitted that he himself habitually left the program early and overreported the number of hours he worked. He’s been ordered to pay $20,754 as part of the settlement. Nichole Murray admitted she taught one Twilight class and left at 5:00 p.m., even though she submitted time cards stating she worked later. She will pay about $11,000. The two no longer work for the district.

City Schools have offered the Twilight program at various high schools after hours until 7 p.m. Students can make up classes to accumulate enough credits to earn their diplomas.

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at