PTO Scandal In Berea

By: Denny Trease
By: Denny Trease

Allegations claim two people who were supposed to help children were actually stealing from them in one Madison County community.

Foley Middle School Principal Arno Norwell admits he was shocked to learn that not one but two Parent Teacher Organization officers may have taken money raised by and for kids and spent it on themselves.

Norwell tells 27 NEWSFIRST, "We thought there were some discrepancies back in the spring. We requested the books from the PTO, and we all agreed it should be turned over to the Berea Police, and that's what we did."

A police investigation revealed it wasn't a small amount of money that had been taken. Captain Ken Clark says, "We don't know what the exact figure will finally end up, but it's gonna be several thousand dollars. They were acting in concert and using it for their personal use, groceries, fixing their car, renting movies, and doing things you wouldn't normally see a Parent Teacher Organization doing."

PTO President Oscar Combs and Treasurer Michelle Couch were being held at the Madison County Detention Center in Richmond and had not bonded out as of late Wednesday afternoon. They face possible prison time if convicted.

Capatain Clark explains, "A Class D felony is one to five years in the state penitentiary. There is also a fine associated with that."

This is one lesson parents don't want their children to learn at school.
Clark sighs deeply as he says, "School is where we try to teach these youngsters the difference between right and wrong. We're trying to teach them values and morals, and when something like this happens, it's really disappointing."

Principal Norwell says, "Unfortunately in the world we live in, bad things happen everywhere, and we have to deal with it."


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