A former high school dance dance coach was bound over for trial Wednesday in 33rd District Court on an embezzlement charge.
Patricia Lee Daraban, 22, of Flat Rock waived a preliminary examination of the evidence against her before Judge Jennifer Coleman Hesson.
The charge is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
She is free on a personal bond.
By waiving her preliminary examination, Daraban has declined to have the judge determine if there is probable cause that a crime has been committed, and committed by her.
It moves the case forward to Wayne County Circuit Court. A trial date eventually will be set.
According to police, Daraban is accused of embezzling more than $21,000 of school funds in the Woodhaven-Brownstown School District.
Police said Daraban had checks in her possession that she tried to manipulate and use for her own benefit.
According to Deputy Police Chief Robert Matthews, police confronted Daraban with the allegations Aug 26, 2013.
Matthews said she attempted to make full restitution the following day, which was not acceptable. An investigation already was underway.
School officials said they became aware of the alleged illegal activity when venders began calling and questioning unpaid bills in connection with a dance program.
After an investigation involving the school and township police was conducted, the information was presented to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office for review.
The prosecutor’s office approved a warrant for Daraban and determined the embezzlement charge.
Funds connected to a dance competition and camp are among the activities under investigation, according to Mark Greathead, school superintendent.
News of the charge against Daraban and her arraignment were published in The News-Herald Newspapers in early February.
The story generated heated comments among readers on the newspaper's website.
Some defended the former dance coach, saying, “Things like this can happen by mistake,” and “She was railroaded.”
Another person was critical of the story for being “one-sided” against Daraban.
In part, another post read: “She is a sweet, kind, honest, broke college student. There is no way this young lady embezzled $21,000. I would put everything I own on it.”
On the other hand, some readers appreciated the information, taking note of where the information was derived.
“I don’t think the prosecutor’s office would waste taxpayer money if there wasn’t a case,” one post read.
Another reader urged people to be patient, give the process time to play itself out and wait for an update.