Valpo schools food service worker admits theft
By Amy Lavalley Post-Tribune correspondent June 12, 2014 11:54PM
Updated: July 14, 2014 6:19AM
VALPARAISO — The former office manager of food service for the Valparaiso Community School Corp. admits in an investigative report by the Indiana State Board of Accounts to pocketing $37,750 in cash from the food service from April 2011 to October 2013.
In the report, filed Monday, Julie A. Schroeder said she paid back the money to the school corporation by cashier’s check in March, and intends to reimburse the state agency for additional audit fees, which the state said total $19,332.
“I also wish to sincerely apologize to the Food Service Director and other employees with whom I worked with at the Food Service Office for my conduct in this matter,” she wrote, noting that no other food service employees were aware of or participated in the theft.
A working phone number for Schroeder could not be found to seek additional comment.
The state has forwarded the report to the Indiana Attorney General as well as the Porter County Prosecutor’s office.
“The Valparaiso Police Department has not yet begun an investigation,” said Prosecutor Brian Gensel. “If and when that happens, they will present that investigation to me and charging decisions will be made.”
Valparaiso Community Schools Superintendent Michael Berta has said Schroeder has not been employed with the school corporation since the start of the calendar year.
Schroeder said in the report that she failed to deposit, record or report cash lunch money receipts on various occasions during the time in question, and failed to include the misappropriated funds in the sales and meals report, “pursuant to the filing of a false Cash Deposit Report maintained in the office.”
The initial audit, released in late April, covers July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2013. In her response to the audit, Cindy Licciardone, the school corporation’s food service director, said she would establish a segregation of duties within the department, among other changes, in the department.