Ex-school official indicted

Published 5:00 am Thursday, July 11, 2002

The former business manager for Lincoln County Public Schools isfacing charges of embezzlement and forgery stemming from auditfindings, according to a recent grand jury indictment.

Janet R. Smith, 42, of 1583 West Lincoln Drive, was arrestedTuesday on a grand jury indictment for four counts of embezzlementand two counts of forgery by the Lincoln County Sheriff’sDepartment, according to the Lincoln County Jail Docket.

According to Lincoln County Sheriff Lynn Boyte, the charges camefrom the state auditor’s office and state department of education.The charges originated after the district was given a disclaimerfollowing the audit of the 1999-2000 records.

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After the disclaimer was issued, Smith resigned from herposition, where she was responsible for the care and possession ofmoney belonging to Lincoln County Public Schools.

During the alleged incidents, Billy Britt served asSuperintendent of Education for the Lincoln County SchoolDistrict.

Current Superintendent Perry Miller said the district’s books,which were described previously as being in “disarray” by theauditor’s office, have been corrected and a positive audit isexpected soon.

“We are well-satisfied with the progress we made, and we feelthe state auditor’s department and the state department ofeducation are satisfied,” he said. “In fact, representatives fromboth institutes have complimented us on the progress we’vemade.”

Due to the pending legal action, Miller was unable to commentspecifically about Smith’s arrest.

After making the $10,000 bond Tuesday, Smith was released fromjail and is expected to appear before the grand jury forarraignment on July 25, said Boyte.

According to the indictment, the first count of embezzlementinvolves Smith allegedly writing a $693 check to herself on oraround Feb. 26, 1999.

She is accused of also writing similar checks in amountstotaling more than $5,000 from July 1999 to March 2000, theindictment stated.

The two counts of forgery stemmed from a alteration made in the”Pay to” lines on the checks allegedly used for embezzlement,according to the indictment.

An indictment is not a statement of guilt or innocence. Itrepresents the belief by the grand jury that there is probablecause to proceed further with the case.