A former Johnson County School board finance director could go to prison after a federal jury says she's guilty of stealing thousands of taxpayer dollars.
Late Friday afternoon, the jury convicted Peggy Vanhoose on three counts, but found her not guilty on another.
Former Johnson County School Finance Director Peggy Vanhoose showed no emotion when the verdict was read. The jury found her guilty on three counts. They convicted her of giving herself illegal salary raises and covering it up, giving herself extra sick days, and writing her son, Michael, paychecks while he was in jail and cashing them herself.
"We're pleased with the verdict," said U.S. Assistant Attorney Ken Taylor.
Peggy Vanhoose was found not guilty on a fourth charge. U.S. attorneys argued she charged more than six thousand dollars of personal purchases on the school board credit card, but they had no receipts to back it up.
"It was a tough call. I knew it would be tough going in and it's a reasonable verdict. I can't criticize the jury," Taylor said.
Defense Attorney Ed Dove and Peggy Vanhoose didn't want to comment after the trial. Dove argued all week former superintendent, the late Orville Hamilton, was the one who gave Vanhoose raises and sick days and said she didn't know it was wrong. In closing arguments, Dove admitted Vanhoose wrote her son paychecks for 16 months while he was in jail, but argued Hamilton let her do it so she wasn't at fault. The jury disagreed and convicted her.
The ones who started the investigation, current Superintendent Steve Trimble and Assistant Superintendent Zella Wells, were in the courtroom, but chose not to comment.
Vanhoose will be sentenced November 27th. Her former payroll assistant, Shelby Jean Coleman, faces the same charges. Coleman's trial starts next week.