QUINCY, W.Va. — Kanawha County School Board member Pete Thaw said he was angered to learn about a scheme which ripped off the school system for years worth thousands of dollars.
Four employees of Riverside High School have been charged with embezzlement, conspiracy, and fraudulent schemes after an investigation uncovered the theft of a large level of food and cleaning supplies bought for the school.
“This was a very systematic thing. They were doing this very systematically over a long period of time,” Thaw said. “They bought everything. They bought hams and chickens, and paper goods and you name it.”
Thaw said the excess orders were the undoing of the scheme.
“They were ordering too much food for the population of Riverside,” he said. “I mean they were really ordering over and above. They ordered so much more it became evident that something was wrong.”
Charged in the case was head cook Christine Buckley, cafeteria manager Debra Stump, custodian Tommy Osborn Jr., and head custodian Linda Oda. State Police investigators said the group confessed to the scheme. A search at Oda’s home uncovered a 50-pound flour container, several pounds of cheese, garbage bags, cleaning products, and other items paid for by the school system.
“It makes me madder than hell,” said Thaw. “Fortunately, that’s not one of our big problems, thievery. That’s not a prevalent thing in our school system.”
The workers were suspended without pay late last week. State Police said they uncovered the thefts when following up on a separate case.