Charges filed in school embezzlement case
Formal charges were filed last week against a former Lake Tahoe Unified School District employee accused of embezzling more than $100,000 in district funds.
Linda Marie Eddy, 41, an accounting technician, is facing two felony counts of embezzlement and one felony count of forgery. Eddy’s arraignment on the charges is set for Jan. 20 in El Dorado Municipal Court.
Investigators estimate the embezzlement started about three years ago. A discovery by Pat Howard, the director of child nutrition, of several forged checks led to a confrontation in September in which Eddy allegedly confessed to the embezzlement. Superintendent Rich Alexander said the decreased cafeteria fund was attributed to an increase of expenditures. Eddy allegedly explained the missing funds as rises in vendor costs.
Howard took over the department in March and claimed she first became suspicious in June while reviewing profits and losses for the department. Howard said the numbers seemed odd.
Eddy resigned in September, soon after being placed on administrative leave. She had worked for the district in various positions for about 12 years.
Eddy was questioned by the South Lake Tahoe Police Department on Dec. 11. Detective Brian Williams said Eddy admitted to the embezzlement, citing personal finance problems as the reason.
Alexander said supervisors are now double checking all accounting practices. The district’s local checking account with US Bank was closed and all bills are now paid through the county office in Placerville. School officials said cash sales from the cafeteria go directly to the business department each day.
“I’m sorry this all had to happen,” Howard said. “We don’t want one person to serve as a reflection of the whole department. We’re here to feed the kids – that’s the bottom line.”
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