Former school treasurer gets four years in prison - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Former school treasurer gets four years in prison

CANTON, Ohio (AP) - A former North Canton school treasurer who stole up to $168,000 in district funds was sentenced to four years in prison.

Diane Flad, 56, pleaded guilty in July to a felony theft in office charge for embezzling school district funds between January 1998 and March 2003.

Flad gave no explanation Monday when Stark County Common Pleas Judge Charles E. Brown Jr. asked if she had any comment.

"She surrendered to temptation," said Bradley Iams, Flad's attorney.

Iams asked for probation, one of the options Brown could consider.

Brown said he would consider releasing Flad in a year if she behaves in prison. He also ordered her to pay a $10,000 fine.

Flad, a 25-year veteran of the school district, resigned her $70,500-per-year post in March when confronted about questionable purchases on a district credit card.

She admitted buying herself three televisions, three digital cameras, light fixtures, a leaf blower, gas and food.

A preliminary state audit revealed she took $81,000 in district checks and put them into her personal account. She also used credit cards for another $33,000 and doctored $11,000 in purchase orders.

The district is withholding her severance pay pending final audit results and seeking to garnish her pension.

"I think there's three or four sources that we'll be pursing for restitution and we're confident full restitution will be made," said Superintendent Thomas Shoup.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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