By Evan Bevins
The Marietta Times
A former Marietta City Schools employee has been charged with theft in office.
Lower Salem resident Barbara Mincks, who worked for the district for nearly 30 years, was charged Oct. 12 with the third-degree felony count, according to Marietta Municipal Court records. She was arraigned Friday and released on a recognizance bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31, in municipal court.
Marietta City Board of Education President Greg Gault updated the status of the case during Monday's regular board meeting. He said it remains under investigation.
Special meeting - Monday, Oct. 29, time TBA, district office.
Regular meeting - 5:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 26, Marietta High School.
"The final, total dollar amount (allegedly taken) has yet to be determined," he said.
Mincks, assistant treasurer and EMIS coordinator for the district, was placed on paid administrative leave Oct. 3 after the Ohio Auditor's Office notified the district of information indicating she had manipulated and falsified financial records in a manner that suggested public funds had been stolen. She resigned soon thereafter, with her attorney saying she stepped down to save the district the trouble of going through the termination process, if the board decided to take that route.
Mincks worked for the district for 28 years.
Gault said the investigation into the alleged theft is ongoing. Superintendent Harry Fleming said more information about the money involved should be available once the auditor's office completes its probe.
A report was not immediately available Monday evening from the Marietta Police Department, which filed the charge against Mincks.
In other business
Treasurer Matt Reed said he would present the district's five-year financial forecast during a special meeting on Monday, Oct. 29. The time has not been announced.
Districts must submit a forecast to the Ohio Department of Education each October, with an update required by the end of May.
Marietta resident Cindy Oxender, parent of a Marietta High School student, asked the board what had come of focus groups established to follow up on a parent survey the district conducted earlier this year.
Tasha Werry, Race to the Top and Teachers Incentive Fund (TIF) grant coordinator for the district, said those groups had met with district psychologists and guidance counselors. Information gleaned from those sessions would be presented in an article the district plans to submit to The Marietta Times at a later date.
Joe Finley, principal of Phillips Elementary School, noted some issues from the survey have already been addressed, including concerns over school safety and frustration with two-hour delays scheduled for staff development activities. The former was accomplished through reviewing proper procedures with staff, students and parents, such as visitors having to be admitted by the office and proper student sign-out and pickup procedures. The latter was dealt with by swapping the twice-monthly delays for four full days and some after-school sessions.