PTO treasurer resigns amid criminal investigation

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FORTVILLE, Ind. - The PTO treasurer at Fortville Elementary School has been asked to step aside as the organization launches an investigation into its finances.

The former treasurer, 39-year-old Marcy Smitley, is accused of stealing more than $120,000 from a homeowners association she managed on the south side of Indianapolis. Smitley faces 21 felony counts, including theft and forgery.

She's also served as PTO treasurer for two school years, according to the PTO president. However, the district said they've seen no signs of theft from the PTO account.

"My reaction was just amazement. I was shocked," said William Riggs, superintendent of the Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation. "She's done a good job of being a volunteer."

Riggs said the district got tipped off by a local paper.

Marion County prosecutors said Smitley took approximately $127,983 from the homeowners association at the Windslow Crossing condominium complex on the south side from 2009 to 2014. Smitley was working as a manager of that HOA, collecting dues, paying bills, and getting bids for various jobs on the property, according to a board member.

Investigators said she wrote unauthorized checks to her own management company. By May of last year, HOA leaders were suspicious and found the alleged fraud.

Smitley was booked in jail and bonded out last week. That's when the school got wind of the charges.

"That's something that they'll go through their receipts and their revenues and take a look at, but there's nothing I'm aware of that's inappropriate at this point," said Riggs.

Riggs said PTO funds are separate from school funds. The accounts typically don't carry large balances, no more than $5,000, and money from fundraisers is quickly reinvested in the school.

Still, PTO President Mary Jo Adams told us by phone that they are reviewing every transaction to make sure no money in their account is missing. She anticipates their preliminary investigation will be complete next week.

We went to Smitley's home for comment, but nobody answered the door.