Saturday, February 22, 2014

School worker charged with embezzlement

A Brooke County Schools employee has been charged with embezzling from the trade organization of which she was secretary-treasurer.

The West Virginia State Police charged Debra A. Baker, 61, of 130 Scenery Hill, Wellsburg, with the crime for allegedly taking about $12,600 from the U.S. School Service Employees Association of West Virginia between January 2012 and October 2013.

According to court documents, Baker and two other officers with the group, which represents school service personnel in West Virginia schools, each are entitled to a monthly stipend and Baker cashed checks intended for another officer.

State Police said Baker confessed to the crime, saying financial difficulties led her to take the funds with the intention of replacing them.

Baker has been a secretary for Brooke County Schools' transportation department for 11 years.

Kathy Kidder-Wilkerson, the school district's superintendent, said Baker has been placed on leave until the case is resolved. She said Baker's position didn't involve her handling any of the school district's funds.

Baker's case is pending in Brooke County Magistrate Court.

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