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Former school secretary faces embezzlement charge

A 17-year Stanly County Schools employee is accused of of embezzling more than $5,000 of school funds at Walmart.

Chief Deputy Sheriff Ashley Thompson said Joanna Love, 59, turned herself in at the Stanly County magistrate’s office Friday morning and posted bond.

A warrant for her arrest states Love “did fraudulently misapply and convert to her own use Stanfield Elementary School’s Walmart credit card,” according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The alleged embezzlement of $5,731.47 with Love, a former school secretary, occurred between May 27, 2017 and Oct. 6, 2018. The charge is a felony.
SCS Superintendent Jeff James issue a statement about the school system’s accounting practices.

“Our District and our schools are held to the same accounting and operation standards of any governmental entity and we answer to taxpayers for how we use tax dollars to improve the future livelihood of our students and economic development of our county,” James wrote in an email.

“At Stanly County Schools, we hold ourselves to high standards of financial integrity and it is our responsibility to ensure our schools have sound practices to protect our funding,” he added. “Unfortunately, when accounting procedures are not followed, we have a responsibility to take corrective action and report any suspected issues to the appropriate authorities. While Stanly County Schools cannot comment on any particular personnel matters, when our district discovers that our financial procedures are not being followed or financial impropriety exists, as stewards of public tax dollars, it is the administration’s duty to correct the matter and, if necessary, turn the matter over to local authorities. It is always the district’s goal to maintain the trust of our stakeholders, ensuring we use our funding as intended and for appropriate educational purposes.”

Love became employed with Stanly County Schools Oct. 1, 2001 and resigned Dec. 11, 2018, according to Vicki Calvert, assistant superintendent of personnel and student services, Stanly County Schools.