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A 59-year-old grandmother, Bette Ray, who’d been quietly working for three decades as a school secretary and operations specialist, is a main suspect. She was the only person “responsible for collecting and depositing the money, and monitoring all parking operations.”
Auditors reported that of $56,794 collected only $13,690 was actually deposited into the school account, leaving a little more than $43,000 missing. When asked what happened to the money during the audit investigation, Ray “stated she had no explanation regarding the missing funds.”
The security specialist claimed that he would accompany Ray to deposit the cash at the Bright Star Credit Union. But that didn’t make sense because the school board account was at Bank of America, not Bright Star. The criminal investigation has been ongoing since November 2017 with no charges.
According to Superintendent, Robert Runcie, there weren’t enough protections in place to safeguard the funds. “That has changed. We don’t have a single individual that’s collecting cash,” Runcie said.