Former head of school intermediate unit charged with theft, fraud
By Bill Vidonic
Published: Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, 9:03 p.m.
Police charged the former head of Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV on Friday with theft and access device fraud, accusing her of using a company credit card for personal expenses over several years.
Cecelia Yauger, 55, of Grove City waived a preliminary hearing when Grove City police charged her with one count each of theft and unauthorized access device use, both felony charges. She remains free on $10,000 unsecured bond. A formal arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 12 in Mercer County Court.
Yauger's attorney, Eugene Tempesta, said she would not make any comment on the charges. He said a criminal complaint filed by Grove City police Cpl. Matthew Ran accused her of theft in an amount “in excess of $2,000.”
“I believe the expenses were work-related, and I believe we can show that a substantial portion were work-related,” Tempesta said. “There may be a (minimal) amount that cannot be shown as ‘work-related,' or for that matter, nonwork-related, because time has passed and the evidence one way or the other is simply not available.”
Grove City police could not be reached for additional information. Timothy McNickle, the intermediate unit's solicitor, also could not be reached.
Yauger resigned as head of the intermediate unit on April 24, nearly a month after the board placed her on administrative leave when questions surfaced about her expense reimbursements. A Pittsburgh attorney had filed a Right-to-Know request March 4 on behalf of a client seeking records about the use of credit cards by employees of the unit, which serves schools in Butler, Mercer and Lawrence counties. Unit officials said that when they started pulling together those documents, they noticed questionable expenses on Yauger's credit card.
Board policy allowed Yauger to approve her own expenses. Intermediate unit board members said she did little to document them, supplying fewer than two dozen receipts for thousands of dollars in purchases. The board has since changed that policy and others to tighten financial oversight.
The audit labeled as “undocumented/questionable” nearly $73,000 of about $114,000 in bills that Yauger charged to one of the unit's American Express cards from August 2007 through April 30. It classified the remaining $41,000 as business-related expenses.
The board approved Yauger's retirement on April 24, the day she resigned, allowing her to apply unused vacation and sick days at a rate of $100 per day toward any money she may owe the intermediate unit. The unit said she accumulated 224 sick days and six unused vacation days. Yauger acknowledged in her resignation that she could owe the intermediate unit money.
Yauger is not employed but is “exploring options to help the community,” Tempesta said, including wanting to teach nonprofit organizations how to write grant proposals.
In August, the intermediate unit board appointed Clairton City School District Superintendent Wayde Killmeyer to head the unit.
Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Keisel might be at end of Steelers career
- Turnpike’s chief compliance officer resigns, cites family matters
- LaBar: Bryan winning world title at WrestleMania 30 is only option
- Police continue to investigate 3-year-old’s injuries in Butler
- Man to face DUI-homicide trial for Route 28 wreck
- Uniontown man sentenced in robbery spree
- PIAA Class AAA 126-pound semifinal stocked with WPIAL grapplers
- Penguins’ leads evaporate in loss to Sharks
- Sharks praise ex-teammate, newest Penguins player Goc
- Martin would consider extending stay with Pirates
- Dunbar Twp.’s Upper Sandy Hollow Road, Falls Avenue face repairs