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Mich. Gaming Control Board investigates Shelby Township's Switzer Elementary PTO after embezzlement arraignment

School group tied to illegal conduct at Snookers

Detroit - The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) is investigating the Switzer Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) after its former treasurer was arraigned recently on a felony embezzlement charge involving organization funds. While the MGCB investigates the Shelby Township school organization for the second time in the past two years, the PTO will not be allowed to conduct millionaire party fundraisers with casino-style games such as poker because of possible Bingo Act violations.

“While we recognize the Switzer PTO may be an embezzlement victim in this matter, it is solely responsible for guaranteeing appropriate financial controls are in place and making certain the money raised through millionaire parties is used for a proper purpose,” said Richard Kalm, MGCB executive director. “We need to examine whether the PTO followed state law and maintained gaming integrity.”

Former PTO Treasurer Tracy Rhadigan, 33, was arraigned Feb. 5 in 41-A District Court in Shelby Township. The PTO alleges more than $68,000 in unauthorized purchases and withdrawals were made.

Rhadigan will face Macomb County Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Faunce at an April 13 pretrial conference.

In 2013, MGCB cited Switzer PTO and its members for failing to oversee their millionaire party and for letting members of Snookers Pool and Pub, Utica, complete their financial records. The MGCB suspended all millionaire parties at Snookers for illegal gaming activities in December 2012, and its owner Donald Wawrzyniak and manager Sherrie Saoud pled guilty to gambling crimes in November 2013.

The Switzer PTO indicated willingness to cooperate with the MGCB investigation.