Former Oneida Special School District employee indicted for misappropriating funds

(Photo: Tennessee Comptroller’s Office)

ONEIDA, Tenn. (WATE) — A former Oneida Special School District employee was indicted for misappropriating school funds Tuesday.

Verna Wright, the former Food Service Director misappropriated at least $60,532, according to Tennessee Comptroller’s Office.

(Photo: Tennessee Comptroller’s Office)

Investigators say Wright was allowed to use her personal credit cards to make purchases and pay the balances with food service funds by school district officials. However, Wright made many purchases with school funds that did not benefit the school district, according to the report.

“This investigation speaks to the importance of separating the key functions of a financial process,” said Comptroller Justin P. Wilson. “The same person should not be responsible for preparing checks and reviewing bank statements and invoices. It’s a key reason why this activity went undetected for several years.”

Purchases included eight computers, three iPads, eight iPods and more than 110 phone cases and decorations for Samsung cell phones. Investigators say she spent over $2,500 to buy more than 65 Vera Bradley bags.

Investigators say Wright admitted to making purchases that did not benefit the food service program in April 2017.

She returned several carloads of items. Some of the items were inside their original packaging and were kept in her basement. The report says some of the items were bought five years ago.

Wright’s contract with the school district expired in June. She faces charges for theft of property over $60,000 and official misconduct.

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