EL RENO — A former cafeteria manager at a Yukon elementary school is accused of stealing more than $8,000 in lunch money during the last school year.
Connie Lynn Wise, 54, was arrested Monday and booked into the Canadian County jail. She is charged with four counts of embezzlement and one count of violating the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act.
Wise, who has resigned from the district, worked at Lakeview Elementary School as a cafeteria manager before her arrest.
An affidavit filed in Canadian County District Court shows that Wise would pocket cash intended to prepay students’ meal accounts. The defendant then “manipulated the computer system” to conceal the thefts, records show.
“An audit of the software revealed that numerous prepayments for students’ lunches were backdated in the computer program,” the affidavit states. “The defendant was responsible for making these false computer entries based upon the user identification.”
Court records show that Wise took money from students on “approximately” 150 individual school days last year.
“With few exceptions, the only days that money was not missing were the days that the defendant did not come to work due to illness,” the affidavit states.
Wise quit her job after she was confronted by Yukon school officials, records show.
“She did tell school officials she wished to make restitution, because she feels responsible as a manager,” the affidavit states, “but denies the thefts.”
In total, the affidavit shows the defendant stole $8,270 during the 2011-2012 school year.
Wise left evidence
Yukon Public Schools Superintendent Bill Denton said the district began to suspect something was amiss at Lakeview after officials noticed “some discrepancies in some of the deposits.”
Denton said the district began to investigate, but didn’t truly figure out the scheme until they found some evidence left by Wise.
“We really didn’t figure out the system she used until we found some handwritten notes that she did so she could keep track of the cash she took,” Denton said. “She would come back weeks later and make the entry into the students’ accounts so that it never showed up that their account wasn’t accounted for when she took the cash.”
Court records show Wise was released Tuesday after posting $9,000 bail.
Messages left at Wise’s home were not returned Tuesday.