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Secretary who stole from school repaid funds

May 25, 2000|By MARLO BARNHART

A former secretary at Cascade Elementary School who stole more than $4,000 from the school over a 16-month period was given a nine-month suspended jail sentence Thursday in Washington County District Court.

Jean E. Mapes, 50, of 11809 Seminole Drive, Smithsburg, was found guilty of felony theft/scheme earlier this year. Sentencing was delayed until Thursday.

District Judge Ralph France placed Mapes on supervised probation for 18 months and ordered her to perform 150 hours of community service, according to court records.

Restitution has been made in full, according to Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Mark Boyer.

Mapes originally was charged with forgery, uttering and embezzlement in addition to felony theft/scheme. The remaining charges were dropped in exchange for the plea.

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School officials told Washington County Sheriff's Investigator Chris Weaver that Mapes, who was secretary at the school for 12 1/2 years, was terminated from her employment Nov. 29 for reasons "not relevant to the missing money."

Weaver began his investigation Dec. 9 to look into a theft of $4,213.75 from the school. William Montross, supervisor of human resources for the Washington County Board of Education, had determined that amount was missing.

Montross told Weaver that most of the missing money had been collected from school events such as field trips, book fairs and school supply sales between July 1998 and November 1999.

In addition to the stolen money, a $600 check was cashed on the school's checking account on March 16, 1999, Weaver said.

That check, which was payable to Mapes, bore Cascade Principal Carolyn Moore's signature but the signature had been forged, Weaver said.

Part of Mapes' job was to count money collected, fill out deposit slips and deposit money into the school's bank account, Weaver said.

Mapes was interviewed Jan. 12 about the missing money and admitted to Weaver that she took the money to pay personal bills, Weaver said.

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