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Excelsior School Official Charged with Embezzlement

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January 17, 2003

            Attorney General Mike Cox today announced that a former Excelsior school district official has been charged with cheating the school district out of money and with failing to declare money she received from the district on her income tax returns.  Adrienne Frances Mattie, age 52 of Kalkaska, Michigan, is charged with two counts of embezzlement between $1,000 and $20,000 and three counts of failing to file or filing false tax returns, all of which carry a maximum prison term of five years.

            In 1992, Mattie was elected school board secretary for the Excelsior school district, which consisted of one school known as the Crawford School.  In 1999, she also assumed the position of school manager.  In her dual positions, Mattie not only handled the finances for the school district but was also paid for work she did.

            The complaint alleges that beginning in July, 1999, and continuing through May, 2001, Mattie obtained in excess of $16,000 of the school district's money through a scheme whereby she wrote checks payable to her son for work that he supposedly did for the school district, but which in fact was never done.  She had her son endorse these checks, which she then cashed and used to pay personal expenses.

            It is also alleged that in 1999 and 2001, Mattie failed to file state income tax returns declaring as income payments that were being made to her by the school district.  Additionally, in 2000, Mattie filed a false state income tax return that understated her income because she failed to include as income payments made to her by the school district.

            “At a time when school districts throughout the state are suffering budget shortfalls, it is disheartening to find a school district employee who steals from the district to supplement her income,” Cox said.  “Taxpayers expect that their school taxes will be used to provide the best education possible for the children in their district, not to line the pockets of dishonest officials.  I intend to vigorously pursue any cases brought to my office involving corruption of any sort by government officials or employees.”

            A criminal charge is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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For further information contact: Sage Eastman
517-373-8060 (Office)
State of Michigan, Department of Attorney General