Probe delays PTA treasurer's sentencing

January 22, 1995|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Sun Staff Writer

The sentencing of the former treasurer of Crofton Meadows Elementary School PTA on theft charges has been delayed to give leaders of another local group time to determine if she also took money from it.

Assistant State's Attorney Eugene M. Whissel II said he agreed to postone Friday's sentencing of Susan Haller at the request of the Crofton Athletic Council, so that the group's lawyer could review Haller's bookkeeping practices for them and interview her.

Haller, 32, the CAC registrar from 1990 to 1994, pleaded guilty last fall in Anne Arundel Circuit Court to the felony theft of $3,500 from her school PTA.

"It serves the public interest to uncover any illegal activities that are there, if there is anything there at all," Mr. Whissel said. "At this point, I just know [the athletic association will] report back to me with anything they find."

Dennis Robin, the lawyer for the athletic council, said that money was missing from council accounts during Haller's tenure, but declined to provide an amount. He acknowledged that as registrar she had access to the group's finances.

"We've completed the investigation and we're in the process of addressing the results of that investigation. That's all I can say at this point," he said.

Haller of the 2000 block of Cambridge Drive in Crofton pleaded guilty Oct. 26 before Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr. to writing checks totaling $3,500 on the Crofton Meadows PTA account.

Haller told police investigators she cashed the checks in 1992 and 1993 for personal expenses and planned to return the money, but never did. The discrepancies were discovered by the PTA president who received bills she thought had been paid.

Crofton Meadows PTA had a note on its account that any check required two signatures, but the bank never questioned the one-signature checks Haller cashed, school officials said.

As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors agreed to drop an additional count of felony theft and Haller agreed to pay $3,500 in restitution to the PTA.

Haller, a former free-lance community correspondent for The Sun, could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison and given a maximum fine of $1,000.

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