Jeannette school director accused of stealing band group money free on bond
A Jeannette City school director accused of taking thousands from the district’s band parents association is free on $5,000 unsecured bond.
Karen Ann Welshons, 56, was arraigned Tuesday morning on two theft counts filed Monday by Westmoreland County detectives.
She was ordered to have no contact with any members of the Band Parents Association. Detective Randy Gardner told Judge Joseph DeMarchis that Welshons has been cooperative during his investigation.
Welshons declined to comment after the brief hearing. Her attorney could not immediately be reached.
Welshons previously was the president of the band parents association and didn’t turn in money for fundraisers she either participated in or planned, according to court papers.
The association’s treasurer identified $6,386.37 was missing, police said.
Welshons repaid the organization in 2018 and 2019 after being confronted with the discrepancy, but $2,486.27 remains outstanding, police said. The band parents association sent her a certified letter in March requesting the remaining amount be paid in full within 30 days, but police said that hadn’t happened.
Welshons told investigators during an interview in March she attributed the missing money to personal issues she dealt with recently, according to court papers.
She resigned as the director of the Jeannette Recreation Commission in January after serving for two years. A board member has said he plans to ask for an audit.
Welshons’ term on the school board expires in December.
A preliminary hearing is set for May 23.
Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, [email protected] or via Twitter .