A Newman woman was arrested Jan. 20 on suspicion of stealing more than $6,000 from the parent-teacher organization (PTO) at Hurd Barrington Elementary School, according to police reports.
Police Chief Randy Richardson said Maria E. Cota, 34, was booked on one count of embezzlement and two counts of burglary.
The arrest and felony charges followed an investigation which began Jan. 8 when other members of the PTO reported discrepancies to authorities, Richardson said.
Cota was the vice president and fund-raising coordinator for the organization, Richardson told Mattos Newspapers.
Richardson said Cota is accused of making unauthorized purchases and withdrawals from the PTO account. He said the case involves 15 ATM withdrawals and two store purchases which occurred from Nov. 21 to Jan. 6.
The total amount involved, Richardson commented, is “in excess of $6,000.”
Cota was an employee of the Newman-Crows Landing Unified School District who worked in the after-school program at Von Renner Elementary, confirmed Dave Kline, the district’s director of human resources.
He said that as of Jan. 11 Cota was no longer an employee of the district but declined to provide additional details, citing the confidentiality of personnel matters.