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Indiana AG sues fired Hanover schools bookkeeper

Updated: May 17, 2013 6:29AM



CEDAR LAKE — The Indiana Attorney General is seeking $44,000 in restitution and audit costs from a Hanover Community School Corp. bookkeeper faulted by the SBA with collecting more revenues than deposited.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller filed suit Monday against Jennifer Grcich, who served as school extra-curricular treasurer for Lincoln Elementary School from July 2010 to December 2011 and for Hanover Central High School from December 2011 until her termination in November 2012 after a routine audit by the State Board of Accounts found Grcich misappropriated more than $22,000 in funds from the two schools.

“What a poor example it sets for students when a school employee entrusted with parents’ hard-earned money decides to pocket those funds instead. My office will make every effort to recoup misappropriated funds from this defendant who violated the public trust and return that money to the school treasury,” Zoeller said in a news release.

In two separate SBA audits issued April 4 examiners found Grcich failed to deposit some textbook rental fees and other fees collected from parents at both schools. It also showed she received but did not deposit some payments for gym uniforms, athletic transportation fees, parking permits and from payments made by sponsors for cheerleading fundraising at the high school.

Grcich was terminated by the Hanover School Board in December during the course of the routine SBA audit. At the time the Lake County Sheriff’s Department confirmed it was conducting an investigation in cooperation with the SBA. Superintendent Carol Kaiser was placed on paid administrative leave Dec. 10 following the decision to terminate Grcich and later resigned her position in an agreement with the school corporation Dec. 28.

School Board President Mary Joan Dickson could not immediately be reached for comment.

According to results of the audit, Grcich failed to deposit $10,060.35 collected at Lincoln Elementary School and another $12,128.75 from the high school. Zoeller said the SBA also is seeking to recover the costs to audit the school records, bringing the total to $44,378.20.

Zoeller also successfully filed a motion to freeze Grcich’s assets, including four vehicles and any bank accounts and pension or retirement accounts, until a hearing on the state’s motion for a preliminary injunction to prevent the liquidation of any assets.

A hearing on the preliminary injunction will take place before Judge Diane K. Schneider in Lake Superior Court 11 at 11 a.m. April 23.

The lawsuit also names Ohio Casualty Insurance Co. of Fairfield, Ohio, which wrote two $12,000 bonds on Grcich’s position in 2010 and 2011 and a $15,000 bond on the position in 2011 as insurance against employee theft. Any of the monies not recovered from the insurance company will be Grcich’s personal responsibility.



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