SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — An employee of Shawnee schools and a parent are under criminal investigation for stealing thousands of dollars in two separate thefts, according to officials.
Both thefts involve thousands of dollars but exact amounts remain to be determined by the Ohio Auditor’s Office, which is assisting in the investigation because of its expertise with financial records, said Detective Jack Miller of the Shawnee Township Police Department.
Shawnee school board members and the treasurer declined comment Tuesday citing the ongoing investigation.
The first incident involves the Parent Teacher Committee for Shawnee Middle School, though parents raise money to help the school and children pay for various expenses that would not otherwise be available, Miller said.
A bill came due associated with a fundraiser that was not paid. The bill then was forwarded to the middle school and school officials discovered insufficient funds with the PTC, Miller said.
A woman, who is a parent of at least one student in the district, served as treasurer for the PTC. She told school officials she took the money. School officials alerted police officials, Miller said.
Investigators contacted the state auditor seeking assistance and that review remains ongoing, Miller said.
The woman was interviewed and cooperated with the investigation, Miller said.
“She is admitting to everything,” Miller said.
The woman began stealing sometime in 2015. The crime was discovered March 4, Miller said.
The other incident surfaced during the investigation by the state auditor when it was discovered a check was cashed and deposited into a private account, which is a red flag, Miller said.
Bank records showed the account belonged to the Shawnee Baseball Boosters Association. The treasurer for the association, who is a school district employee, was questioned and she told authorities she made a simple mistake while depositing checks, Miller said.
Investigators found other expenditures that didn’t match baseball expenses between Oct. 21, 2014, and April 30, 2016. There was “an exorbitant amount” of cash withdraws from booster accounts that raised a red flag, Miller said.
“They were taken throughout the year even when baseball was not going on,” Miller said.
On June 6, the woman was confronted about two checks put into the wrong account. She wrote a check for $2,011 from the baseball boosters to go back into the school account, Miller said.
Investigators then confronted her about a large amount of cash withdrawals. She stopped talking and said she wanted to talk to her attorney, Miller said.
Shawnee schools placed the woman on administrative leave June 6, Miller said.
Shawnee Police Department investigators executed a search warrant at the school on the woman’s office and recovered evidence that was passed on to the state auditor, Miller said.
Neither the employee nor the parent have been charged and the investigation was ongoing. Once it’s complete it will be presented to a grand jury and Miller said he expects felony charges against both women.
The search warrant identified the employee as Kimberly K. Hall, the operations coordinator for Shawnee schools. The warrant also said there was $40,445 of cash withdrawals from the Booster’s account over the same time period Miller identified.
Authorities seized from Hall’s office the following: two three-ring binders for the boosters association or baseball, a bank folder with paperwork and checks, a folder marked “Shawnee baseball” containing files and checks, computer equipment, and a boosters stamp, according to court records.
Hall could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Reach Greg Sowinski at 567-242-0464 or on Twitter @Lima_Sowinski.