Second Woman Indicted in PTA Theft; Former PTA President Pleads Not Guilty

Former treasurer for the West Orange Mt. Pleasant Elementary School PTA Callie Crowder facing charges related to the theft.


[Correction: When this article was originally posted, the treasurer's name was spelt incorrectly as Callie Crowler. The correct spelling is Callie Crowder.]

Another woman involved in stealing more than $100,000 from the PTA at  will be arraigned in Superior Court in Newark later this month. 

Callie Crowder, the former PTA treasurer of Mount Pleasant Elementary School, was indicted on July 11 for stealing $101,000 from the school's PTA funds. Crowder faces charges of second-degree conspiracy to commit theft and second-degree theft, according to Katherine Carter, a spokeswoman for Essex Country Prosecutor’s Office. 

She will be arraigned in Newark on Aug. 24. 

Representing Crowder is Jason Foy, who said that Crowder will be pleading not guilty to all the charges. Although still familiarizing himself with the specifics of the case, Foy was confident of Crowder's innocence. 

"It would surprise me if the evidence bore out any intentional misappropriation on the part of Mrs. Crowder," said Foy.

The other woman facing charges in connection with this case pleaded not guilty to all charges last week in Superior Court in Newark. 

Deborah Sanchez, the former PTA president of Mount Pleasant Elementary School, is also accused of . 

Sanchez faces charges of second-degree theft and third-degree forgery for taking $101,000 in PTA money while serving as its president. She allegedly took the money between January 2008 and November 2010. 

Representing Sanchez is Vincent Nuzzi, who had little to say about the case on Tuesday. 

“Sanchez entered pleas of not guilty and we are looking forward to proceeding,” said Nuzzi.  

Sanchez will be back in court on October 11 before Judge Verna Leath in Newark.

Concerned Citzen August 22, 2012 at 04:32 PM
$101K in PTA funds...really! UNBELIEVABLE. Why wasn't the money being spent in the school? Why would the PTA hold that much cash? Other schools in the district could have really benefitted from some of those funds.
Gary Englert August 22, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Concerned Citizen: Rather than these funds being the proceeds of the typical PTA bake sale or raffle, this particular PTA took on the task of administering an after school program previously run by another private entity. As I understand it, whether properly accounted for or approved, the PTA President essentially paid herself in an amount equal to what the previous program administrator was being paid. As the money apparently passed through the PTA's account, the treasurer now finds herself in some hot water. There's likely more nuance to it all but, that's a reasonable overview of the situation.


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