Now is the time for PTA memmbers and leaders to talk about the issue of embezzlement, as new officers take charge. Let everyone know audit results and remind treasurers and presidents that they will be held accountable. Talk about embezzlement and its consequences—especially about those thieves who get caught. Because they held a position of esteem in the community, their lives are shattered. Most PTA embezzlers avoid jail time (too bad). But their children will have to live with whispers behind their backs. There will be shame (and most likely, a move out of town). If anyone is susceptible to being shamed, it’s a PTA parent. All you potentially sticky-fingered treasurers, presidents, and overactive committee chairs think about what it would be like to stand in front of a judge. To be run out of town by public opinion. To listen to your children tell you you’re a criminal.
Meanwhile, here’s how it’s playing out in California.
From Culver City News:
El Rincon Elementary School was dealt a serious public relations and fiscal blow last year when a high-ranking member of its Parent-Teachers Association was accused of a crime that left the school’s students without funding to help with field trips and other activities that children at other local schools enjoy.
But due to assistance from the school district’s five other elementary schools, as well as the middle and high schools, El Rincon students may soon be able to take part in the aforementioned activities during the next school year.
Former El Rincon PTA Treasurer Cheryl Noda was arrested last year for allegedly embezzling nearly $24,000 from the association. She was charged in April on two counts of grand theft and is currently on trial at the Airport Courthouse.
For Cheryl Noda’s side of the story, see this article.