Former Crestline PTO treasurer faces theft charges
A Hartselle woman and former treasurer of the Parent Teacher Organization at Crestline Elementary School was arrested Feb. 5 on theft charges.
Abby Wilson, 32, was charged with theft of property in the first degree, a Class B felony, according to Lt. Alan McDearmond with the Hartselle Police Department.
Wilson was booked in the Morgan County Jail with a $5,000 bond.
McDearmond said the investigation began Nov. 2 when members of the Crestline PTO reported the theft of money exceeding $2,500.
“Members of the organization noticed there were several charges on the debit card for the account. Wilson was the treasurer of the account and was known to have possession of the card,” he said. “Wilson was confronted by members of the PTO about the charges and admitted to using the card on unauthorized purchases. Although an arrest has been made, the investigation is ongoing due to the various locations the card was used.”
Wilson was not an employee of Hartselle City Schools, according to Superintendent Dr. Dee Dee Jones.
In a press release, Jones said the Crestline PTO maintained a fidelity bond covering its treasurer. After the misappropriated funds were discovered, the PTO filed a claim on that bond and successfully recovered the funds from the bonding company.
Historically, funds raised by PTOs and booster club associated with several Hartselle City Schools have remained under the separate control of those organizations through treasurers elected by each respective group, the release continued.
Jones said in recent years Hartselle City Schools has brought the funds of some of these organizations under the control of the school district and has made them subject to its annual audit.
“Although funds raised by Crestline Elementary PTO had not been brought under the control of the district when this alleged theft occurred, the district has required for some time that the PTO provide an independent audit of its receipts and expenditures,” she said. “The district’s request for that independent audit led to the discovery, by other PTO officers, of discrepancies in the accounts managed by Wilson, that in turn led to the arrest.”
Wilson, according to McDearmond, will now await a preliminary trial and possible grand jury.