Saturday, December 12, 2009


A hearing for a former secretary charged with stealing more than $110,000 from a Warren school district and an employee union was adjourned on November 23, 2009 as attorneys continue to discuss a possible plea bargain.

The pretrial conference in Macomb County Circuit Court in Mount Clemens brought no resolution to the felony embezzlement case against Patricia Susan Lowry, 51.
Macomb County prosecutors and Warren police allege Lowry converted between $110,000 and $115,000 in Van Dyke Public Schools and union funds for her own use during a 6-year period.
Investigators have said Lowry was authorized to draw checks from a local credit union account belonging to the Van Dyke Association of Educational Office Personnel. She is accused of directing checks from two district programs into that account and later withdrawing funds for personal use.
The criminal investigation began after a bank notified the district of an overdraft on a check. Court records show the scheme began in August 2003 and ended last April.
Lowry, who resigned in June after 18 years in the district, faces one count of embezzlement of more than $50,000 but less than $100,000 — a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of $25,000 or triple that amount, whichever is greater.
Lowry also is charged with embezzlement of $1,000 or more but less than $20,000, a 5-year felony.
“I do anticipate we’ll be able to work this out to the satisfaction of everybody, including my client,” defense attorney Louis Zaidan said.
The pretrial was rescheduled to Dec. 7 before Judge Donald Miller.

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