PTA member accused of stealing $22K from organization - KCTV5

PTA member accused of stealing $22K from organization

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INDEPENDENCE, MO (KCTV) -

A former member of the Fort Osage Parent Teacher Association ripped off $22,000 from the organization, prosecutors say.

Prosecutors charged outgoing PTA treasurer Mary Ward with one count of theft or stealing.

"The Fort Osage School District appreciates the efforts of the Jackson County Sheriff's Department and the prosecuting attorney's office in this matter. The district will continue to cooperate fully with the prosecuting attorney's office in their efforts," the school district said in an issued statement.

The year-long investigation into who stole thousands of dollars from Blue Hills Elementary resulted in a criminal charge against the longtime PTA board member.

Board members for the school first noticed a discrepancy in June 2011 when Ward turned in the PTA's financial records.

"It took a lot of piecing together, because there were a lot of things hidden and a lot of trickery. But we pieced together that we had money taken from us," said Chris Ford, a member of the Blue Hills Elementary PTA.

The board contacted the school, and then the police, who upon completing their investigation turned their findings over to the district attorney.

"Wonderful volunteer, outstanding volunteer. If you ever needed something done, you ask her and it would get done. That was the absolute shocking part of it," Ford said.

The money was to be used for computers and even included $1,250 that parents pitched in to pay for a class trip that is unlikely to happen.

The news Wednesday was a disappointment to parents whose children attend the schools.

"It is sad. It is a disadvantage to the children. It is always good when they get technology and funds for the school, and it is sad to see it taken away," parent Dianna Rose said.

As a result of the investigation, the PTA now requires three signatures on all bank documents.

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