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HOMER-CENTER: Directors fire secretary accused of theft

by on March 22, 2013 10:50 AM

CENTER TOWNSHIP — A secretary accused of stealing more than $6,800 from Homer-Center School District athletic funds has formally been fired from her job.

The district school board Thursday terminated Susan Dixson, of Lucernemines, retroactive to Feb. 22.

State police charged Dixson, 42, on Feb. 19 after a district audit of school accounts showed money paid for at the ticket window for varsity football, boys’ basketball, girls’ basketball and volleyball games in 2011 and the basketball and volleyball games in 2012, had not been deposited in the bank.

Investigators reported in a criminal complaint that Dixson admitted to taking cash to pay personal expenses for groceries, gasoline and utilities. According to the court papers, an ongoing review of school district records may show the loss between $10,000 and $15,000.

Dixson waived her right to a preliminary hearing Feb. 25 in Homer City district court, and awaits adjudication in Indiana County Court on two counts of theft and one count of receiving stolen property, all felonies.

District Superintendent Charles Koren said Thursday following the school board’s vote that the district will try to recoup its entire loss through its insurance and court-ordered restitution.

The exact amount hasn’t been determined.

“That amount is subject to our internal review,” Koren said. “Through the insurance claim and the resolution of criminal charges, the district certainly hopes for full recovery.”

The board voted 8-0 to terminate Dixson. President Vicki Smith, Vice President Gerald Bertig, and members Fred Hayes, James McLoughlin, Julie Rado, Joy Sasala, Kimberly Thomas and Sherri Williams were present for the vote. Dan Fabin was absent.

Chauncey Ross is the Gazette’s fixture at Indiana Area and Homer-Center school board meetings, has been seen with pen and notepad in area police stations and courts, and is something of an Open Records Act and Sunshine Law advocate. He also manages the Gazette’s websites and answers your questions about them.
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