The Lion of Judah charter school in Cleveland is closing, and the founder was sentenced to five years probation.

“Prosecutors last year accused Romey Coles Jr. and other officials of the Lion of Judah charter school of funneling at least $1.2 million in public funds to businesses associated with the troubled charter school….”

“Prosecutors left Coles’ sentence up to Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Janet Burnside, who made it clear to Coles that he would have to make a substantial effort to pay restitution, including telling him to liquidate assets, such as multiple homes he owns.

“Coles, 46, told Burnside, “I’ve made some mistakes and I’m looking to take responsibility for it.”

“Burnside said she didn’t see a prison sentence as proper in the case because she felt the state didn’t properly anticipate the mistakes that could be made when citizens or non-lawyer tried to run charter schools.

“On the other hand, there was a misuse of public dollars and the public is owed it back,” Burnside said.

“Coles’ attorney, Fernando Mack, said his client had good intentions when opening the school on East 55th Street but then got greedy when he saw easy opportunities to make money….

“According to prosecutors, the academy from 2006 to 2011 took in almost $5.8 million from the state and federal government and $1.2 million of it was spent illegally, including items that were purchased for the school but went to the Church of the Lion of Judah, where Coles was a bishop and his wife was a pastor.”

By the way, the Ohio Revised Code Chapter 3314.03 states very clearly in the case of charter schools that “The school will be nonsectarian in its programs, admission policies, employment practices, and all other operations, and will not be operated by a sectarian school or religious institution.”

Does anyone care?