An elementary school PTA president has been arrested and charged with stealing money intended for children.
Heather Maloney, 36, was president of the Grady A. Brown Elementary School PTA in Orange County. She was arrested Jan. 26 and charged with embezzling more than $23,000.
According to the Orange County Sheriff, Maloney cashed dozens of checks between September and January.
"It was a shock, and it's been an emotional journey for all of us," said acting PTA president Wendy Hughes.
Hughes said no one was even aware it was happening until the bank notified them that their two accounts were completely drained.
The money was to be used for activities throughout the year including field trips and supplies for teachers. Now, parents are struggling to make ends meet.
"All this money, it's been over years and years that people have given to the PTA, fundraiser after fundraiser, and everything we do with that money is for our kids. Educational-wise we do stuff for our teachers, and so it's just heartbreaking," said PTA Vice President Penny King.
Maloney is out of jail on a $2,500 bond.
The Orange County district attorney is now taking over the case.
The money was to be used for field trips and supplies for teachers. Now, parents are struggling to make ends meet. An account for the PTA has been set up at Community One Bank.
There are three ways to donate:
Deposit donation directly to Community One Bank's Grady A. Brown PTA Cougar Cares account
Donate online: https://sites.google.com/site/gabpta/
Send cash or checks to the school made out to GAB PTA