Former Stillwater Public Schools Employee Accused of Embezzling Over $200,000
KTUL-News 8 - May 2, 2022 6:01 am
STILLWATER, Okla. (KOKH) — A former Stillwater Public Schools employee is accused of embezzling over $200,000 from the district.
Payne County District Attorney Laura Austin Thomas filed a felony embezzlement charge against Stacy Kay Hampton on Friday.
Hampton worked with the district as an administrative assistant with the school nutrition services program for over 10 years. Her responsibilities included collecting funds from various cafeteria sites, preparing those funds for deposit, and depositing the sum at the bank, according to a news release from Austin Thomas.
In 2019, Hampton was placed on leave when the school started an internal investigation into her work hours.
“During the course of this investigation, the director of the school nutrition program found discrepancies in Hampton’s school-related financial records and alerted Stillwater Public Schools Chief Financial Officer, Jericah Dawson,” a news release said. “Dawson began an internal accounting investigation and identified over $200,000 in missing cafeteria funds.”
Austin Thomas requested an independent forensic investigation from State Auditor and Inspector Cindy Byrd. Austin Thomas said the investigation found that from fiscal year 2013 through fiscal year 2019, Hampton misappropriated Stillwater Public School funds totaling $216,196.67.
“This extensive and thorough investigation would not have been possible without the interagency cooperation of the Stillwater Public Schools, the State Auditor’s Office, and the Stillwater Police Department, working in concert to present a prosecutable criminal case,” Austin Thomas said. “We can’t stress enough how imperative it is to have adequate oversight in any business. Hiring another employee or placing additional responsibilities on a co-worker costs more money, but it is worth the expenditure to avoid this type of misappropriation of public dollars. I am grateful the school brought this criminal activity to light and pursued further investigation.”
If convicted, Hampton faces no less than one year but no more than 10 years in prison.