BLOOMSBURG -- The treasurer of a Parent Teacher Organization at a school in Bloomsburg is accused of stealing nearly $50,000 from the group.
Kristi Duane of Bloomsburg was charged Monday morning with theft and forgery. She's accused of stealing $49,624.67 from the Parent Teacher Organization at Bloomsburg Memorial Elementary School.
At a Little League game, parents and elementary school students were stunned.
“I don't know. That's shocking,” said parent Tanya Witkowski. “Taking from the kids, that's not right at all.”
“I don't get why you would do that,” said Witkowski's son, Liam, a fifth grader at Memorial. “I mean, it's a school. You're a grown up. You're supposed to be setting a good example for the kids.”
According to court papers, Duane became treasurer of that PTO in 2013.
This past May, the president of the organization contacted Bloomsburg police, saying several thousands of dollars were missing from their account.
The PTO president told police she confronted Duane about it, and that Duane admitted taking the money over the past five years by writing checks to herself and by signing the president's name on them.
“If it goes five years, there weren't any checks and balances,” said grandparent Cindy Eisenhower. “There needs to be checks and balances on something like that.”
Investigators say Duane confessed to the PTO president that she used the money to pay bills and to buy things for herself and her children.
She also said she took out a $7,000 loan last year in an attempt to put some money back.
Walter Miller umpires for the Little League games and says a similar thing happened to them in 2005.
“I was the umpire-in-chief back when we had the problem here,” said Miller. “Maybe $10,000 in our account, and when the treasurer turned it over to the next group, there was $300 in there.”
At a house on East Street in Bloomsburg that is listed as Duane's home, the man answering the door would only say Duane wasn't home.
Investigators say Duane gave them a written statement about what she had done.
Duane was released after her arraignment. She has another court appearance scheduled for later this month.