July 22, 2018

SISD Superintendent Updates on Investigation, Expresses Fears on Suspect

The Flash Today file photo

Rachel Snyder

TheFlashToday.com

STEPHENVILLE (June 15, 2018)- Earlier this week, The Flash Today broke the story on investigation of theft at Stephenville ISD. A former employee of the district committed theft of an unknown amount of funds from multiple groups within the district.

“This is not taxpayer money,” Stephenville ISD superintendent Matt Underwood said. “It’s fundraising dollars. I don’t think we will ever know how much [money was stolen]. We have investigated three years of activity.”

Student groups and their sponsors raise money for different activities and events through fundraisers. Underwood said that it is possible that the athletic department is the only organization not involved in the investigation because its funds are raised by the booster club.

“It could be more than what we can prove,” Underwood said.

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The crime is not being labeled as embezzlement because that is not a legal term in the state of Texas.

“What we are dealing with is known as theft by a public servant,” Underwood said.

Since this story broke, rumors have abounded regarding the investigation. Underwood expressed concern that the suspect may have been alerted by the rumor mill and may be gone.

“I’d love to tell you who it is,” Underwood said. “But, I can’t ever release personnel records. We are hoping we can find them.”

The Stephenville Police Department became involved in the investigation in April. Underwood expects to send the police the district’s auditor’s report next week.

“Normally these investigations take six months,” Underwood said.

Underwood said that the district was waiting to release information until it was possible to make an arrest. He stated that this investigation occurring at the same time as the bond election was “an awful coincidence.” But, the funds for the bond and the fundraising money stolen do not overlap.

“Now, the information is out and the arrest has not been made,” Underwood said.

 

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