A Tuckahoe middle school math teacher was arrested and is now facing felony charges after allegedly stealing thousands of dollars worth of student fundraiser money over a seven-month period.
Dorothy Lepore, a 41-year-old math teacher in the Tuckahoe school district, surrendered to Eastchester police early on the morning of Feb. 26 and was charged with third-degree larceny, a class-D felony, and faces a maximum sentence of seven years in state prison if convicted.
The veteran teacher served as the treasurer for the Tuckahoe middle school and high school student government organizations and allegedly pocketed $26,295 worth of student fundraiser money between May 1, 2013, and Dec. 31, 2013.
“She then, without consent or authorization, used the stolen money for her own purposes,” according to a press release distributed by the county district attorney’s office.
Lepore resigned from her position as the treasurer of the student government organization on Jan. 10, according to the minutes from the Jan. 13 Tuckahoe Board of Education meeting.
Lucian Chalfen, spokesperson for the district attorney’s office, said Lepore continued to work as a math teacher until she surrendered to the Eastchester Police Department on Feb. 26.
Tuckahoe Superintendent Dr. Barbara Nuzzi acknowledged the teacher’s arrest, but said she couldn’t comment on personnel issues.
“We are aware that a certain personnel issue has become the topic of media coverage and speculation in the community,” Nuzzi said. “It is the policy and practice of the Tuckahoe Schools to promptly report matters of public concern to local authorities and fully and completely cooperate and assist any outside agency or department in any investigation involving the school district and/or its staff.”
Chalfen said a school staffer became suspicious and notified the Eastchester police after long delays in dropping-off the student fundraiser checks in the appropriate accounts.
Because the investigation is ongoing, Chalfen said no further information can be released at this time. He said police can prove $26,295 was stolen, but further investigation will determine if more money was stolen.
Lepore is due back in Eastchester court on April 2, 2014.
-Reporting by Chris Eberhart