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Year in review: Missing funds bring indictment at LVISD
WCN FILE PHOTO
La Vernia Independent School District parent Jennifer Moczygemba was among several people who raised questions about missing funds in the district last year. This spurred a police investigation and resulted in an indictment of a former principal by the end of 2012.
LA VERNIA -- With the indictment of former La Vernia Junior High School Principal Maria Wildenstein in October 2012, a situation that had plagued the La Vernia Independent School District through most of the year brought a measure of closure for district employees and families.
Wildenstein was indicted on 23 counts of misapplication by a fiduciary for allegedly misapplying more than 20 separate checks totaling more than $20,000 but less than $100,000.
The matter came to light when Jennifer Moczygemba, a district parent, raised questions about the junior high activity fund, when a student trip in 2011 was in jeopardy for insufficient funds. The money for the trip had been deposited in the school’s student activity account before the planned trip, Moczygemba said, but later went missing.
As the situation unfolded, parents and community members turned out in large numbers for several school board meetings, also seeking meetings with district administrators over this and other matters of concern. Television news crews and other media outlets were drawn by the whiff of potential scandal to school board meetings and other events.
The matter ultimately led to an investigation by the district’s auditors and the La Vernia Police Department. During the ongoing saga, the La Vernia trustees renewed and extended Superintendent Tom Harvey’s contract, approving in May a statement in support of Harvey’s leadership.
As 2012 ended, no further action had followed the indictments. For the La Vernia school district, however, a new year beckoned, with the investigation closed.
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