$10,000 missing from Olathe PTO group

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) - More than $10,000 has gone missing from an Olathe elementary school's parent teacher organization.

Police are investigating after learning last month about the possible theft of PTO funds from Westview Elementary School.

Sarah Coddington, president of the Westview PTO, said she reported the theft to police in July after a month of trying to figure out what happened to the money. "No one expects that," she said in regard to the theft. "It is an ongoing investigation but we love this school and I think we're going to be ok."

Olathe police say the report involves $10,640 over the time period from Aug, 1, 2010, until the end of June this year. No charges have been filed.

Olathe School District chief financial and operations officer John Hutchison says the PTO's operate independently and maintain their own funds separate from school district funds. Hutchison says that twice a year, the district conducts workshops and provides information to PTO members about safeguards and best practices for handling funds.

"Well I know we're not gonna be doing any fundraisers for a while," said Christy Reed. Her children are current and former Westview students who regularly raised money for the school. "I'm not gonna trust them to take care of my money."

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