Almost all of the $20,000 taken by Danielle DeAnn Smallwood — former Creston Teacher Organization (PTO) treasurer — has been returned.
Smallwood, 40, of Creston was charged in May on a warrant for second-degree theft — a class C felony — after allegedly using $20,000 from the PTO account for personal use between October 2010 and April 2013.
“A significant amount of the money was returned to the account either shortly before or after she was arrested,” said Union County Attorney Tim Kenyon. “I can’t say she’s returned all the money because we are still in discovery. We will know better when discovery is complete.”
Smallwood’s arraignment was Aug. 2. She pleaded not guilty to the charges against her.
A pretrial conference is slated for Sept. 26. A trial has been scheduled for Nov. 4.
Strong PTO board
Meanwhile, PTO President Tonya Strong recently emphasized stringent policies have been put in place to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
“We currently have an amazing and dedicated group of volunteer parents and teachers serving as board members,” Strong said. “These elected officers have implemented new control procedures and processes to prevent future misuse of PTO funds.
“Our goal is to continue to enhance the quality of education through fundraising efforts to support technology and/or supplemental equipment and supplies or programs that fall outside of the school budget.”