Maple Heights High School secretary faces felony charge after stealing $40k from students, prosecutor says

Maple Heights High School secretary faces felony charge after stealing $40k from students, prosecutor says
Maple Heights High School, file photo (Source: Google Images)

MAPLE HEIGHTS, Ohio (WOIO) - A Cuyahoga County grand jury has indicted Karla Hopkins for stealing over $40,000 in school funds while working as a secretary at Maple Heights High School, according to Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley.

“This individual stole from the students she was employed to assist,” O’Malley said in a prepared statement. “These disgraceful actions require that she be schooled in the criminal justice system.”

Between July 2017 and June 2018, O’Malley said Hopkins embezzled money from various programs, some of which included:

• Class of 2018 dues and yearbook fees

• Auto Tech funds

• Student Council funds

• Flag-drill team funds

• Books and ID badge fines

In her role, she was responsible for collecting dues, revenues, and fees from individuals in charge of the various programs. Upon receiving funds, she would issue a receipt and record the transaction in a log before the money was sent to the district’s main office and deposited into a school account.

In May 2018, the Maple Heights Police Department responded to the Maple Heights Board of Education for a report of theft after the school district’s treasurer noticed a large amount of money was missing from the senior class fund.

Further investigation by the MHPD, Maple Heights City School District, and State Auditor’s Office linked Hopkins to the crime.

The school district issued the following statement to 19 News on Tuesday night:

“As this is a criminal matter, we are not at liberty to comment on the case. Be assured that district personnel have fully cooperated with the investigation and will continue to do so. Working in a transparent, ethical and honest manner, and serving as good stewards of public funds are of the upmost importance to the Maple Heights Board of Education. Upon learning of the allegations, we immediately severed ties with Miss Hopkins, and will continue to cooperate in this investigation.”

Hopkins has been indicted on one count of Theft In Office, a third-degree felony.

Her arraignment date has not yet been set.

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