Ohio Auditor: Former Shroder High School secretary stole over $10k from district

·2 min read
Shroder High School in Madisonville.
Shroder High School in Madisonville.

A former Cincinnati Public Schools employee stole thousands of dollars from school athletic events and a student field trip, according to the Ohio Auditor of State's Office.

Donnitta Thomas, who served as lead secretary at Shroder High School in Madisonville from 2002 to 2019, pleaded guilty in July to a single count of theft and has repaid $13,246, including the stolen money and audit costs, the auditor's office said in a news release.

Thomas admitted to stealing $10,756 from the school, officials said, adding she concealed the theft by replacing the stolen funds with facility rental checks. Thomas' responsibilities as lead secretary included collecting and depositing receipts for the high school.

Officials released details from the auditor's investigation on Thursday.

The special investigations unit of the auditor's office launched a criminal investigation and special audit in December 2019 after the state was notified by an independent public accountant, performing a financial audit for the school district, of potential theft, the special audit report shows.

By that point, the district had already initiated an internal investigation into Thomas, the report says, adding she self-reported the theft of money collected at sporting events and for the field trip.

During a two-year period Thomas, who also worked as a cheerleading coach for the school from 2017 to 2019, collected checks and money orders for the school, including $10,233 from a local church for facilities rental and $523 for cheerleading fees, and used those to substitute the stolen funds, the report states.

The report says Thomas had been disciplined during her tenure with the school for failing to adhere to the district's money handling policies and procedures. She resigned in July 2019.

As part of a sentence handed down by Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Jennifer Branch, Thomas was ordered to six months of probation, which was lifted once she paid restitution.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Ohio Auditor: Former Shroder High School secretary stole over $10k