Police: Jeannette City school director stole money from band parent organization
A Jeannette City school director is accused of taking thousands of dollars from the district’s band parents association, according to court papers.
Karen Ann Welshons, 56, previously was the president of the association, police said. She is expected to surrender Tuesday on two theft counts.
District officials in February reported to Westmoreland County detectives that money was missing from fundraisers conducted by the Band Parents Association, according to court papers filed Monday. The organization’s treasurer told investigators Welshons did not turn in money for fundraisers that she either participated in or planned, detectives said.
The 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 missing, police said.
“(The band director) stated the defendant did not dispute the facts and (the director) advised her that this was theft,” Detective Randy Gardner wrote in court papers. “She stated the defendant disagreed with that but begged them not to report it and asked to make payments and stated she was ‘gonna make it right.’”
The band parent association sent her a certified letter in March requesting the remaining amount be paid in full within 30 days. Gardner said that amount remained outstanding last week.
Welshons told police during an interview in March she attributed the missing money to personal issues she dealt with recently, according to court papers.
Welshons also served as director of the Jeannette Recreation Commission for two years until she resigned in January, according to recreation board Vice President Bob Tanyer. At the time of her resignation, his request for an audit failed to garner enough support from the board.
Tanyer said Monday he hopes to revisit the issue in light of the charges against Welshons.
“I have been concerned about the rec department,” he said.
Welshons could not be reached. She did not have an attorney listed in online court records.
Welshons won one of five seats on the school board in 2015 with 18.8% of the vote, according to Westmoreland elections results. Her term expires in December.
Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, [email protected] or via Twitter .