Arnold Webster pleaded guilty to illegally paying himself $20,000 in school district funds after he became mayor. The former mayor, who served from 1994 to 1997, faced a potential sentence of 16 months in prison and $250,000 in fines. Webster was sentenced in August to six months of house arrest and ordered to repay more than $20,000 in salary from the school board.

Arnold Webster was Superintendent of Schools in Camden for almost a decade before his election as Mayor in 1994. While given credit in some circles for avoiding a state take-over of Camden's schools, in retrospect this was a disaster for the Camden's children and the city as a whole. The city's school board and school system were plagued by corruption and charges of nepotism throughout the 80s and 90s, and at least one high-ranking school official was convicted or crimes in office. The state stepped in to oversee Camden's school system in 2003.

Camden Courier-Post - August 8, 2004

]Webster, Ex-mayor of Camden, Dies at 73

Arnold W. Webster, 73, a former Camden mayor and schools superintendent who fashioned a long career in education and city politics, died Wednesday.

Webster left public life in disgrace after pleading guilty to taking $20,833 from the school district when he left the superintendent's post for the mayor's office.

Born in Washington, D.C., Webster began teaching in Camden in 1954. He worked as a teacher and principal in the city's schools while rising to lead the Board of Education in the early 1970s. He became a district administrator in 1974 and later served as superintendent from 1986 to 1993. 

Webster was widely credited with steering the Camden school system away from the brink of a state takeover in the late 1980s.

He served on city council from 1983 to 1986 and spent a period as council president. Webster was elected mayor in 1993 and served one term. He lost his re-election bid to Milton Milan.

"I'm sorry to hear that," said Councilman Mike McGuire, reacting to news of Webster's death. "I served on the board of education that appointed him superintendent of schools. As far as superintendents go, he was a great role model for our youth - very positive. Things were really going good . . . As a mayor? I guess he worked with what he had to work with."

Funeral services will be held noon Thursday at Nazarene Baptist Church, 8th and Fairmount streets.

Camden Courier-Post - August 13, 2004

Pallbearers carry the casket of former Camden Mayor Arnold Webster after his funeral; service on Thursday at First Nazarene Baptist Church in Camden. More than 300 attended the service.