A Bethpage woman – who served as the treasurer at an elementary school PTA – was arrested Wednesday for allegedly stealing more than $5,000 from the organization, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said.
Kathryn Savage, 37, was arraigned Sept. 25 and subsequently released without bail after being charged with third-degree grand larceny and four counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument.
Prosecutors said Savage served as the treasurer for the Central Boulevard Elementary School PTA from August 2012 to July 2013. They allege she wrote five “unauthorized checks” from the organization’s bank account between April 1 and May 23. They totaled $5,401.20. Four of the checks were made payable to cash and the endorsed by Savage and one was written to her boyfriend, the DA’s office said.
The theft was uncovered during an internal audit of the group’s finances, prosecutors said. The organization referred the findings to the DA and the investigation resulted in Savage’s arrest.
According to the district attorney’s office, the four checks made payable to cash also contained the signature of the PTA president. However, the president never signed the check or gave her permission for Savage to sign on her behalf, authorities said.
“This defendant betrayed every child at the school and every PTA member who trusted her to handle the association’s finances,” Rice said in a news release. “PTA members volunteer their time to provide a more fulfilling educational experience for the students. They shouldn’t have to worry that one of their own is stealing from them.”
Bethpage Schools Superintendent Terence Clark also released a statement on Savage’s arrest. He said the school district was “truly disappointed and saddened” to learn of the charges. Noting that the PTA is a separate entity from the school system, he said the money stolen was raised through PTA fundraisers and was “intended to enhance the educational program for children.” The district will now work with law enforcement to assist the PTA in recovering the money, Clark said.
A phone number listed for Savage was no longer in service. She is due back in court on Sept. 30.