The amount of money allegedly stolen by the former Marietta City Schools assistant treasurer is more than $100,000, the district's treasurer said Tuesday.
A statement of facts outlining the investigation and charge of theft in office against Lower Salem resident Barbara Mincks, 53, says the Ohio Auditor's Office found a total of $64,010.04 had been taken since Sept. 28, 2010. The statement also indicates Mincks told police Detective Troy Hawkins she'd been taking money for about five years.
"It's in excess of $100,000 right now," Marietta City Schools Treasurer Matt Reed said.
Mincks, who worked for the district for 28 years, was placed on paid administrative leave Oct. 3 after the district was notified of evidence she had manipulated and falsified financial records in a manner indicating there had been a theft of public funds. The next week, the Marietta City Board of Education approved her resignation, which Mincks said through her attorney that she tendered to save the district the trouble of potentially going through the termination process.
A spokeswoman for the state auditor's office said Tuesday that she could not discuss information from an ongoing audit. However, the police statement outlines how Mincks allegedly carried out the thefts.
"She admitted that she would watch for outstanding checks from the school district," the statement says. "She stated if the checks had not been cashed for a while, she would re-issue the check using the same check number and dollar amount into her name and she would deposit the checks into her personal account."
Mincks also admitted destroying checks that had been issued in order to move money between school accounts, then re-issue a check in her name, the statement says.
Reed said other treasurers have told him they would not have noticed the thefts, given the manner in which they were carried out. Because the checks were originally issued to the appropriate vendor, Mincks' name would not have appeared in reports, he said.
"When it shows up in the system, it would show up as the original vendor," Reed said.
The only way to have discovered it likely would have been to physically review the checks, of which the district issues thousands each month, he said.
"Might we start doing that? We may," Reed said.
According to the timeline provided by Mincks in the police statement, the thefts began before Reed became treasurer in 2010.
As for whether a state audit could have uncovered the practice sooner, Reed said it's possible but noted that usually only checks above a certain amount are reviewed.
"Some of the checks might not have been subject to testing," he said.
Reed said one of the things still being investigated is what else might have been done to cover up the thefts in instances where a vendor finally cashed a long outstanding check.
Mincks has been charged with a third-degree felony count of theft in office. Hawkins said she could face additional charges like tampering with evidence and tampering with records, but those would likely be presented to a grand jury.
Mincks was formally charged Oct. 12, arraigned a week later and released on a personal recognizance bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Oct. 31.
A call to Mincks' attorney was not returned Tuesday afternoon.