Sunday, September 18, 2011

Former Bells PTO president admits embezzlement in Texas

From :

A local school board official is under fire after being accused of taking money from a school organization.

The Bells ISD superintendent announced that Jeannie Russell, who is the current president of the district's board of trustees, admitted to using money from the Parent Teacher Organization fund for her own personal use.
Karen Bounds has been part of Bells Parent Teacher Organization for nearly two years. Less than a week ago she was appointed president after the past president, who is also the current president of Bells ISD Board of Trustees, admitted to taking $2,000 from the organization.
"I was sad because a lot of parents worked very hard," said Bounds.
The news is still hard for Bounds to accept, especially since she along with several other parents worked around the clock, on their own time, to raise much-needed funds for children at the elementary school and other students in the district.
"We had a lot of cuts in the budget this last year, money is tight and short and so we need to have all these fundraisers to let the money go back in the Bells school district," said Bounds.
Bells ISD superintendent Joe Moore says the incident happened over the summer and that Russell has paid all the money back. But he says it's important for the community to know that PTO and the district are two separate entities since PTO operates under its own by-laws.
"That's two separate things and the PTO has nothing to do with Bells ISD and Ms. Russell's responsibility with it," said Moore.
Russell has since left PTO and resigned as secretary of the Athletic Booster Club. She has also submitted a letter of resignation from her position as President of the district's board of trustees.
Moore says despite the situation, Russell has been an asset to not only the school board but the community. Bounds says the PTO is now moving forward closing the old account, adding new board members and planning for the financial future of Bells ISD.
"Jeannie's done a lot of good for this school for Bells elementary and the high school, but we need to have checks and balances and that's what we're doing now is having those checks and balances in place," said Bounds.
District officials say the police have been contacted and they will continue the investigation. As of right now no criminal charges have been filed. Meanwhile the board of trustees will consider Russell's resignation at an upcoming meeting.

No comments:

Post a Comment