Mom, Teen Busted in Alleged Homecoming Queen Scheme

Laura Carroll, 17-year-old daughter in Pensacola, Fla., accused of rigging the vote
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2021 6:11 AM CDT
Mom, Daughter Busted in Alleged Homecoming Queen Scheme
Laura Rose Carroll.   (Escambia County Jail, via FOX 13)

Some moms long for their daughters to be crowned homecoming queen; other moms really long for their daughters be crowned homecoming queen. Laura Rose Carroll seems to have fallen in the latter category, and now she's been arrested for it. Per CNN, the 50-year-old from Pensacola, Fla., and the 17-year-old she'd apparently wanted to sit upon the school throne were arrested Monday and accused of accessing student accounts to rig votes for the Tate High School homecoming court. Per a release from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the alleged scam started to unfold in October when officials with the Escambia County School District noticed that hundreds of fraudulent votes—117 from the same IP address—had been cast for the high school's homecoming court via FOCUS, the district's student information system. WKRG reports that Carroll's daughter, identified as Emily Rose Grover, was still crowned homecoming queen, per video and pictures from the event.

Everything began to unravel, however, when other students reported Emily spoke of using the FOCUS account of her mom—an assistant principal in a district elementary school with high-level access to the system—to cast votes. The district contacted the FDLE, and investigators found nearly 250 fraudulent votes cast. They also found evidence of unauthorized FOCUS access tied to Carroll's cellphone and computers at the family's home. Mother and daughter were hit with felony charges of offenses against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks, and electronic devices; unlawful use of a two-way communications device; and criminal use of personally identifiable information, as well as misdemeanor charges. The district says Carroll has been suspended, while the FDLE notes Emily has been expelled, per the Pensacola News Journal. Carroll is being held at the Escambia County Jail on an $8,500 bond; Emily is now at a juvenile detention center. (More homecoming stories.)

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