PTA Treasurer accused of stealing $19,000

February 10, 2009 2:29:42 PM PST
Police in Delaware say the president of a PTA group pilfered thousands of dollars that was meant to build a new playground for school children.

Children at the Carcroft Elementary School played at recess oblivious to the scandal that involves the very playground they were frolicking on Tuesday.

According to state police, a PTA treasurer, allegedly embezzled more than $19-thousand, all earmarked for the playground.

37-year-old Cheryl Wood refused to answer any questions from Action News.

Police said PTA officials discovered the missing money on Friday when one official went to the bank to pick up a debit card for playground purchases.

"When she went to the bank and she was waiting for the debit card she figured why not check on the balance. When she did she saw an extremely low balance on the ledger sheet," said Cpl. Jeffrey Whitmarsh of the Delaware state police.

That balance was $9-thousand instead of $29-thousand. Police said Wood allegedly wrote check to herself and altered records to cover up her tracks.

As for reaction from the school, Dr. James Scanlon is the superintendent of the Brandywine School District.

"Just disbelief that somebody would take money from the school that's going for the good of the kids," he said.

Cheryl Wood is also a parent at Carcroft so her alleged thefts affect even her own.

"Anytime stealing is done is never good and I'm sorry to hear that happened," said Marie Zubrzycki.

Wood, who turned herself in Tuesday, was allowed to leave state police headquarters on a $2-thousand unsecured bond. She'll have to answer the charges in court, while officials at Carcroft hope insurance or restitution will pay for the new playground equipment.

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