FORT WORTH — Wendee Long, the principal at Wayside Middle School in Fort Worth, was arrested and placed on administrative leave after she was linked to a criminal investigation involving another school district.
Long, 46, was released from the Denton County Jail on a $25,000 bond Tuesday afternoon. She is accused of using her daughter to plant cameras inside an Argyle High School girl's locker room this year. An attorney for Long said she was surprised and disappointed by the charges.
Long turned herself into deputies Monday after a grand jury indicted her on Thursday. Court documents said she used her 17-year-old daughter, Caydan Long, to hide a cell phone camera inside the locker room during an away basketball game earlier this year in Sanger. Investigators said Long's two daughters played for the team, and she was allegedly upset with the coach for being too stern with the players.
Sources said Long wanted to get video of coach Skip Townsend, 61, yelling at the girls during a half-time meeting at a February game. Nothing inappropriate was recorded, according to investigators.
A grand jury declined to charge Long's daughter last week.
The footage came to the public's attention in March when it was mailed anonymously to school board members in Argyle. Until she was defeated this year, Long served on the Argyle school board.
Long's attorney, Daniel Peugh, said she has not committed a crime.
"She has not violated any law," Peugh wrote in a statement to WFAA. "We do not believe anything has taken place that should involve the justice system."
Long faces charges of improper photography and wiretapping. If convicted, Long could face up to 20 years in prison.
For the past five years, Long has served as the principal of Wayside Middle School in the neighboring Eagle Mountain-Saginaw school district. A district spokesperson said Long was placed on paid administrative leave after she informed administrators of the charges on Friday. The school district will conduct its own investigation.
WFAA.com contributed to this report