A teacher in Macomb County, Michigan has been charged with stealing thousands of dollars that was meant to fund activities for her students, including homecoming.
As USA Today shares, 29-year-old Lydia Johnson spent the money—part of $90,000—at the penny slots at the MGM Grand Detroit casino.
A search of her classroom at Dakota High School found several casino receipts and the empty homecoming envelopes. “This teacher held a position of trust within the high school,” said prosecutor Eric Smith. “She repaid that trust by feeding student funds into a slot machine.”
Johnson was the school's student activity coordinator from July 1, 2016 until her recent removal. That role enabled her to oversee incoming and outgoing funds related to student events. The school put her on administrative leave in May after seeing issues with her bookkeeping. After the homecoming dance, school officials claim she only deposited $11,000 into the school's fund for what should have been nearly $30,000 in ticket fees. She also is alleged to have deposited $500 for a school trip that garnered $13,000 in fees.
“Many of these students will now remember their senior homecoming for all the wrong reasons," said Macomb Sheriff Anthony Wickersham.
On Thursday, Johnson appeared at the 41-A District Court in Shelby Township to face one count of embezzlement from a non-profit organization. Her bond was set as a $10,000 personal bond. A probable cause conference is set for October 5 and a preliminary exam is set for October 12.
The felony that carries up to 10 years in prison if she is convicted.
[Photo: Macomb County Sheriff's Office, Facebook]