Saturday, September 28, 2013

Local PTA Treasurer Facing Embezzlement Felony in Michigan

Prosecutors say Tammy McGrath took nearly $10,000 from a Sheridian Road PTA over the last year and now she faces felony charges for embezzlement.

Our Nick Perreault spoke with the prosecuting attorney and school district about how this happened and what's next for McGrath.

"The defendant in this matter could have been having some financial difficulties could have been some motivation," Assistant Prosecutor Michael Clarizio said.

But that motivation has Lansing school bus driver Tammy McGrath in the hot seat.

She's accused of taking between 7-$8,000 from a Sheridan School PTA, while serving as treasurer between October of 2012 and august of this year.

Assistant prosecuting attorney Michael Clarizio says this case started with a tip from another employee.

"There was a complaint made from the school about possible funds being embezzled or missing and that complaint was made to the Dewitt Township Police Department," Clarizio said.

The prosecutor says those who take money like this usually have gambling issues, are involved with drugs or they're strapped for cash.

He says the evidence seems to show McGrath needed money.

The assistant prosecuting attorney says Tammy McGrath didn't hasn't been charged in the past for embezzlement or criminal charges of any kind.

McGrath has been suspended from her duties with Lansing school district without pay and the district said if a criminal investigation is underway, "we step aside for law enforcement authorities.:

The bus driver waved her preliminary hearing, so this will go straight to trial at circuit court.

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - As treasurer of the local PTA, prosecutors say parents thought they could trust that same bus driver with their money.

But now she faces a felony and if convicted, she could spend up to five years behind bars.

Between October 2012 and August 2013, Tammy McGrath is accused of taking between $7,000 and $8,000 from the Sheridan Road Elementary Parent Teachers Association.

According to Lansing schools an employee tipped off the Dewitt police. It was handed over to the Clinton County prosecutor's office. That's because while it's part of the Lansing district, the Sheridan Road School sits just across the Ingham-Clinton County line.

Now according to the Assistant Prosecutor, McGrath doesn't have a criminal history, but they think they know what prompted her to do this.

"Most People involved in embezzlement have an issue with gambling, drugs, or money and she appears to be financial strained," said Michael Clarizio, Asst. Prosecutor, Clinton County.

On Wednesday, McGrath waived her preliminary exam and the case is moving on to trial.

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