Education

Former Iowa School Official On Probation After Embezzling $217K

SHUTTERSTOCK/ Tatiana Popova

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Neetu Chandak Education and Politics Reporter
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A former school official was sentenced to three years of probation at a Friday hearing after embezzling $217,000 from a school district near Des Moines, Iowa.

Melissa Lantz, 35, stole the money over the course of several years from Woodward-Granger Community School District. She was given a 10-year suspended prison sentence along with paying back the money and doing community service, The Associated Press reported Monday.

District officials felt Lantz was getting off too easy, according to KCCI.

” … personally, sick to my stomach — I mean, just knowing where [the money] came from at that particular point — disheartening,” Superintendent Brad Anderson said, KCCI reported.

Lantz was hired to work with the school district in 2012. She worked her way up to becoming a business manager after handling payroll assignments. (RELATED: DOJ Says University Of Iowa Violated First Amendment For Deregistering Christian Group)

A state audit found Lantz issued 101 unauthorized checks to herself, the AP reported in August 2018.

Lantz used the money to pay the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Granger Motors and Homemaker’s Furniture, KCCI reported. She has children attending school in the district, so Lantz will not be allowed to participate in classroom fundraisers, according to KCCI.

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