A police investigation into the disappearance of more than $40,000 from the Keating Elementary School Parents’ Advisory Council (Keating Home and School Association) has resulted in charges announced today.
In a media release, the Central Saanich Police Service state they have recommended charges of forgery, fraud and theft against 43-year-old Tanya Larayne Adam.
She is schedule to appear in court on Jan. 20, 2016.
Police began their investigation into the disappearance of the money in mid-July, 2015 when they were contacted by a member of the Keating Home and School Association. The department has since been working with members of the council, School District 63 (Saanich) and school administrators.
“Like anything, our investigations are open minded and the focus of our investigation is around record keeping and the person responsible for that,” said police Chief Les Sylven in September.
Superintendent of Schools Keven Elder said at the time news of the investigation became public, funds raised by a PAC are usually spent in accordance with the needs of the school, based on consultation with administration and staff. Often it’s for playground or other equipment focused on children and outdoor play.
“In this case the $40,000 was targeted for an outdoor play structure and that plan of course now goes on hold,” Elder said.
A single person was being investigated, Elder said at the time.
The Peninsula Co-op came forward with a donation of $30,000 towards the building of a new playground shortly after the story of the disappearance of the money became known. As well, $40,000 worth of design material and installation work was donated by Garden City Tree and Landscape.
“They both quite happily have indicated that they would work together and in concert to create a combined play structure and nature scape,” said Assistant Superintendent, Scott Stinson.
The PAC is working on creating safeguards. Stinson said amendments to their bylaws and constitution will be some of them.
There is still a council in place, working to find the best way to restore trust.
“They are working hard to ensure that people have the trust and confidence that is properly placed in them because everybody was taken by surprise with this based on the actions of the person who is under investigation now,” Elder said.
— CSPC with files from the PNR