I-Team: Former Harvard Admin Who Stole From Disabilities Fund Repays $48,000

BOSTON (CBS) – A former Harvard Law School administrator who stole from an account intended for students with disabilities has paid almost $48,000 in restitution.

In exchange, Darris Saylors avoided a guilty conviction on her record for the theft, receiving a “continued without a finding” for two years. During that time, she is ordered to stay away from Harvard.

saylors in court 2 I Team: Former Harvard Admin Who Stole From Disabilities Fund Repays $48,000

Darris Saylors. (WBZ-TV)

A police investigation uncovered by the WBZ-TV I-Team revealed Saylors and co-defendant Meg DeMarco embezzled more than $110,000 of school funds. The two administrators used the money to purchase dozens of laptops, iPads and other electronics.

meg demarco I Team: Former Harvard Admin Who Stole From Disabilities Fund Repays $48,000

Meg DeMarco (WBZ-TV)

The financial probe also discovered Saylors made a long list of online purchases on Amazon, even using a dean’s credit card to buy sex toys. Court documents say she tried to hide the transactions by changing the descriptions to things like “textbooks for disabilities accommodations.”

“Ms. Saylors is regretful and remorseful for her actions, in particular, how said actions may have affected all students, especially those attending Harvard Law School with disabilities,” defense attorney Arthur Kelly told the I-Team.

Kelly added that his client was forthright with investigators and accepted responsibility for her actions.

The resolution is similar to what co-defendant DeMarco received in May. In exchange for $45,000 in restitution, she also received a “continued without a finding” until November 2018.

Saylors had expected to resolve the embarrassing scandal last month. However, prosecutors argued against dropping the guilty conviction and the deal fell apart.
But the two sides apparently came together since then. The I-Team learned both sides agreed on the case disposition.

When the story first broke, Saylors was working a new job at UT-Chattagnooga. However, she immediately resigned from that post when the allegations became public.

saylors in court 4 jpeg I Team: Former Harvard Admin Who Stole From Disabilities Fund Repays $48,000

Darris Saylors outside court with WBZ-TV’s Ryan Kath in March 2017. (WBZ-TV)

A Harvard Law spokeswoman thanked the Harvard University police and Middlesex District Attorney’s Office for the investigation. After the breach of trust, the law school said it added extra layers of control over credit accounts and purchasing protocols.

Ryan Kath can be reached at rkath@cbs.com. You can also follow him on Twitter or connect on Facebook.

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