School Secretary Steals Shirts Off Students' Backs: Cops

A school employee is accused of stealing thousands from grade school kids

A former Killingly school secretary is accused of stealing the shirt right off the school’s back when she stole thousands of dollars from a student activity fund to pay her bills.

School officials estimate Cathy Flerra, 54, stole $23,271 over four years from the fund at Killingly Central School while she was an administrative secretary.

Flerra told investigators she took the money to pay her mortgage, for which she owed about $4,000, and was attempting to prevent bank foreclosure, police said.

She said she also used the embezzled money to pay her car, utilities and medical bills, according to police.

Flerra was arrested Monday morning, but the investigation began on March 31, when school officials first questioned unusual activity in the student activities account.

Police were alerted to the crime when a T-shirt vendor called the school to report a bounced check he received from the school, the Norwich Bulletin reports.

Flerra also said she deposited between $6,000 and $7,000 of the money she took into the student activities fund, making small payments so no one would notice.

Flerra was charged with first-degree larceny. 

Supt. of Schools William Silver declined to comment extensively on Flerra’s arrest, the Bulletin reports.

“We were very surprised when this came to light because we thought we had procedures in place to prevent something like this from happening,” Silver told the Bulletin. “Needless to say, that procedure has been completely revised.”

Flerra did not enter a plea in Danielson Superior Court on Monday. The case was continued to Aug. 13.

Copyright NORBL - Norwich Bulletin
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