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Lodi police: Millswood employee embezzled from school

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Susan Taylor

Posted: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 6:52 pm

A Millswood Middle School secretary is in custody for embezzling at least $2,000 from the school and filing a false police report, according to a press release from the Lodi Police Department.

Officers arrested Susan Taylor, 58, on Tuesday at her home on the 700 block of Cross Street after Millswood Middle School Principal Sheree Flemmer reported the suspected embezzlement to police.

Taylor, who had access to funds for the school’s Parent Club, originally filed a police report in April, stating that approximately $1,000 was stolen from the club, according to the press release. Taylor told police then that an unknown female suspect came to the school and said she was picking up the deposits for the club treasurer, so Taylor gave her the money.

But Lodi Police Lt. Sierra Brucia said that on Monday, Flemmer reported that Taylor had come to her and said she stole the money in April and filed a false police report. Flemmer told police that Taylor confessed to a second theft of approximately $1,000 within the last month, and that she thought she would be caught when the club treasurer came to pick up the deposits this week, according to the press release.

After Millswood reported both thefts to police, investigating officers found that Taylor never provided the money to anyone and that she lied to cover up her original theft, according to the press release.

Taylor is being held in San Joaquin County Jail on suspicion of two counts of embezzlement and one count of filing a false police report. Her bail has been set at $21,000. She is scheduled to be arraigned Friday in San Joaquin County Superior Court.

Officers have been unable to recover any of the missing money. Detectives are waiting to receive bank statements from the Parents Club to determine exactly how much money is missing, Brucia said.

Ralph Womack, president of the Lodi Unified School District Board of Trustees, said he cannot comment on the Taylor case, but speaking generally, he said it would be extremely disappointing if the allegations turn out to be true.

“People in a position of trust are expected to uphold that trust,” Womack said.

Lodi Unified Superintendent Cathy Nichols-Washer declined to comment.

Reporter Ross Farrow contributed to this report.

Contact reporter Kristopher Anderson at krisa@lodinews.com.

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