Restitution acquired for CES PTO theft
A Corydon resident and former Corydon Elementary School PTO officer must pay back all of the money from a felony theft charge using a PTO debit card from Nov. 1, 2016, to May 18, 2018, totaling $57,000.
Tami M. Herrold turned herself in to authorities in June after a warrant was issued for her arrest for a Level 5 felony theft.
A 545-day sentence was suspended for Herrold in a plea deal mandating restitution to be paid within 10 days of the sentencing (Aug. 12). She also will be on probation for 1-1/2 years. The conditions of probation include mental health treatment, among other requirements.
‘However, before any plea agreement was considered, full restitution was mandated,’ Harrison County Prosecuting Attorney J. Otto Schalk said.
From the beginning, he said, the prosecutor’s office knew the pivotal role the PTO served in providing academic opportunities that students otherwise would not receive.
‘To that extent, when the investigation revealed the total amount of financial loss, seeking restitution was of utmost priority,’ he said. ‘Moving expeditiously through the criminal justice system is often a rarity, but fortunately, and for the benefit of hundreds of students, justice was sought and achieved without delay.’
Schalk said the Corydon Elementary School PTO is a tremendous organization, and it is unfathomable to steal from a group that is dedicated to the academic betterment of Harrison County students.
‘Our PTO is extremely appreciative of the swift manner in which Prosecutor Otto Schalk and his team secured restitution in this case,’ the CES PTO said in a statement.
It went on to say the PTO has worked all summer under the uncertainty of when, or even if, any of the money would be recovered.
‘This meant questioning if we would have enough money to support the first round of study trips,’ it said. ‘We realized our newly established teacher grant program created to provide financial assistance for purchasing much-needed items in their classrooms would likely not happen, and our semi-annual teacher allotments used for classroom extras that help our children grow, learn and thrive had been threatened. So, receiving restitution means these important and impactful programs that we have worked so hard to maintain will be able to be continued.’
Officers with the PTO said transparency is of the utmost importance and changes requiring new checks and balances have been put in place.
‘We would like to thank our community for the support that we have been given,’ the statement continued. ‘Whether you sent encouraging words, made a phone call, purchased a T-shirt, sent a donation or offered to help in any way, your kindness in a very troubling time has been appreciated more than you know. We are determined now, more than ever, that we will overcome this obstacle, and we will be stronger as an organization in the end.’
On May 17, 2018, both co-presidents of the PTO chose to contact First Harrison Bank and obtain online access to the PTO’s account in case payments and/or financial decisions needed to be completed, after Herrold was placed in Our Lady of Peace facility for depression, according to the probable cause affidavit.
The officials immediately noticed that the account balance was more than $50,000 short. They then printed the account history, beginning with November 2016 through present, and found more than $57,000 worth of fraudulent transactions had been made.
The account history included charges for as little as $10.97 at Dairy Queen in New Albany to as much as $2,841.11 to Bank of America. It included charges for purchased made at Target, Walmart, Toys R Us, Walgreens, TJ Maxx, Kroger, Kohls, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Hibbett Sports, Indiana BMV, Town Square Gallery, Amazon.com, Petsmart and Swimville USA.