The former treasurer of the Johnstown school sports booster club is accused of taking more than $5,000 from the club for personal expenses, city police said.
Sharon M. Hillier, 55, of 19 Nicholas St., was charged Tuesday with grand larceny, according to city police Lt. David F. Gilbo.
Hillier, the wife of a former president of the district’s Board of Education, allegedly took $5,420 from the accounts of the Johnstown Purple & Gold Club between Sept. 30, 2009, and Feb. 9, 2010, when she served as treasurer, Gilbo said.
The alleged theft was uncovered when the Greater Johnstown School District brought the private accounts back under its control and initiated an audit, Gilbo said. The district contacted police last November with suspicions about improprieties in the accounts. Gilbo then conducted his own audit, which he called time-intensive, and determined Hillier allegedly stole money from the accounts.
Gilbo had to review five years’ worth of paperwork for 12 sports’ accounts to uncover evidence of theft. “The best that I can gather, [she] was struggling financially during that period of time to pay bills and expenses,” he said.
Hillier’s husband, James, served as president of the school board in the early 2000s, prior to his wife becoming the booster club’s treasurer in 2005. He no longer is on the board. She stepped down in 2010 when new officers were elected after the Blue & Gold account was transferred to the district’s Johnstown Sir Bills Athletics fund.
Parents and coaches ran the Purple & Gold Club. They raised money to support school sports programs through car washes and barbecues.
Gilbo said the school district took control of the booster club’s accounts in 2009 after complaints of financial problems. The booster club is still active and still raising funds, he said.
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