Jackson PTO president charged with stealing from PTO funds

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A PTO president and former Jackson School District employee has been charged with stealing PTO funds totaling $3,350.

Cynthia Tatum, 40, is accused of withdrawing money from West Lane Elementary and Orchard Elementary's accounts throughout August. She was arrested Nov. 19 and was charged today with class C felony stealing, according to a probable cause statement provided by the Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney's office.

Tatum was president of West Lane's PTO and a literacy aide at Orchard Elementary. Her employment was terminated Nov. 19, according to Superintendent Dr. Ron Anderson.

According to the probable cause statement, assistant superintendent Dr. Rita Fisher became suspicious of several ATM withdrawals made between Aug. 7 and Aug. 25. Tatum told Fisher she withdrew the money "to pay outstanding bills that had occurred and had no receipts because she paid cash for the bills," the statements said. Tatum then said she "needed the money because she was in a bind."

Tatum, who has no prior criminal record, is scheduled to appear before Judge Gary Kamp at 9 a.m. Jan. 8.

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