Student Coun­cil ad­vi­sor charged with theft

Ad­vi­sor says money stolen from ve­hi­cle

Springfield Sun - - FRONT PAGE - By Linda Finarelli lfinarelli@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @lk­finarelli on Twit­ter

SPRING­FIELD >> Deb­o­rah A. Buck­ley, a fac­ulty ad­viser to the Student Coun­cil at Spring­field Town­ship High School, was ar­rested May 17 on theft and re­lated charges for al­legedly steal­ing funds from the student group.

Buck­ley, 50, of the 200 block of Sun­ny­brook Road, Flour­town, was charged with third-de­gree felony counts of theft by un­law­ful tak­ing, re­ceiv­ing stolen prop­erty, theft by fail­ing to make re­quired dis­po­si­tion of funds, and mis­de­meanor charges of tam­per­ing with records and false re­ports, ac­cord­ing to a crim­i­nal com­plaint.

In ad­di­tion to serv­ing as an ad­viser for Student Coun­cil, Buck­ley was an in­struc­tional aide and head cheer­lead­ing coach at the high school.

She has been sus­pended with­out pay “from all of her po­si­tions” in the dis­trict, Spring­field Town­ship School Dis­trict Su­per­in­ten­dent Nancy Hacker said in an email.

The charges stem from an in­ves­ti­ga­tion that be­gan af­ter the school dis­trict no­ticed in late March that Buck­ley had not made any de­posits into the Student Coun­cil ac­count all year, ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit. A to­tal of $2,282 had been col­lected in pro­ceeds from the Homecoming Dance, a dodge­ball tour­na­ment and bad­minton tour­na­ment, but none had been de­posited, it says.

Asked April 6 about the miss­ing funds, Buck­ley told the as­sis­tant prin­ci­pal the money was stolen out of a binder in her ve­hi­cle overnight Feb. 11, the com­plaint says. Buck­ley’s hus­band had re­ported to po­lice Feb. 12 that $2 in change was stolen from the ve­hi­cle, it says.

April 19, Buck­ley went to the po­lice sta­tion to add to her hus­band’s ini­tial re­port that a blue Un­der Ar­mour bag con­tain­ing the binder and $1,500 cash was stolen from the trunk of the vehi-

cle, the com­plaint says, but the bag, con­tain­ing plas­tic con­tain­ers, and a binder were re­cov­ered when po­lice ex­e­cuted a search war­rant at her home on May 4.

The com­plaint also ref­er­ences de­posits of $950 and $1,125 into Buck­ley’s per­sonal bank ac­count in late Oc­to­ber and early Novem­ber that po­lice termed “an anom­aly” com­pared to nor­mal de­posits in the ac­count.

In ad­di­tion to the Student Coun­cil ac­count, Buck­ley was in charge of the cheer­lead­ing team ac­count as well as funds from the school snack stand taken in dur­ing bas­ket­ball games, the com­plaint says. Fol­low­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, “it was de­ter­mined there is money miss­ing from mul­ti­ple venues,” it says, but does not pro­vide de­tails.

Ac­cord­ing to the com­plaint, a ledger re­gard­ing petty cash and the amount of money she turned in May 15 did not match.

She was ar­raigned on the charges be­fore Dis­trict Judge Kather­ine Mcgill and released on $5,000 un­se­cured bail. A pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing was sched­uled for June 7.

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