Lithonia High School bookkeeper arrested for theft

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A former Lithonia High School bookkeeper has been charged with stealing from the school.

Stephine Barkley, 38, of McDonough, was arrested on Aug. 27 by DeKalb County Sheriff’s deputies and charged with theft by taking. A $2,500 bond for her release was posted on Aug. 28.

In a statement to The Champion, Donald Smith, the school district’s public safety director, said, “A recent internal investigation by the school district discovered missing funds from accounts at Lithonia High School.

“Based on our investigation, the bookkeeper responsible for the accounts was terminated and arrested,” Smith stated. “The DeKalb District Attorney’s Office was notified and the results of our investigation were turned over to Robert James, the DeKalb County district attorney, for prosecution.”

The missing funds came to light when school club sponsors complained to the principal that their account balances were incorrect.

Additionally, Varsity Spirit Fashions, a vendor for cheerleader uniforms, emailed school officials about a $9,700 past due balance from the 2013-14 school year. The cheerleader account only had $354 in it, according to a statement obtained by The Champion.

Because of the outstanding balance, cheerleaders could not order new uniforms for the current school year, according to a letter from the vendor, which threatened to take the matter to the school district level.

Barkley confessed in a written statement to a school district investigator.

In the statement, obtained by The Champion in response to an Open Records Request, Barkley’s listed duties included payroll, purchasing, school auditing and deposits. She also worked as the cheerleading sponsor for the 2013-14 academic year.

In the Aug. 21 affidavit, Barkley stated that she began having “some financial difficulties at home.”

She took school deposits to pay her rent and children’s daycare bills, she stated.

“I think I may have taken approximately $15,000, more or less; however, I really don’t know how much I took over time,” Barkley stated.

The former bookkeeper said she tried to “put some of the money back around December or January,” but “could not put enough money back…to cover all the money I had taken.”

Barkley stated that she “recently secured a second job to help make ends meet and to help me pay back some of the funds.”

“I am willing to pay back all of the monies that I took…and I am sorry for [any] harm I have [caused] anyone at the school district,” Barkley stated.

Barkley had been with the school district since November 2007, working first at Lakeside High and then moving to Lithonia High School.

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4 thoughts on “Lithonia High School bookkeeper arrested for theft

  • September 17, 2014 at 11:24 pm
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    She was really struggling with his bills and child care. She did nit mean to do it.

    Reply
  • September 18, 2014 at 12:16 am
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    She worked under principal Angela Moton at Lakeside first. When Angela Moton was assigned to Lithonia High (2009?), she arranged for Stephine Barkley’s transfer to Lithonia. Principals have to sign off on every check. Did she know about the theft? Is there evidence of theft from Lakeside High? Someone should further investigate this situation!!!! How can Barkley say she needed the money for daycare when her kids were allowed to spend many of their days at the school in her office? This is so wrong!!!!! I hope the kids are able to get what they paid for!

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  • September 19, 2014 at 3:00 pm
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    Tanika Vincent responded but she left I when the principal was going to send her to internal affairs for not turning in funds because she spent the money supposedly. Mrs. Barkley went to Mrs. Vincent classroom and stayed over two hours to save Mrs. Vincent from being sent to time out. Mrs. Barkley have also helped alot of other staff members as well as students. Dont be so quick to throw stones…… A bigger stone with be thrown r ightt back at you.

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  • December 7, 2015 at 1:41 pm
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    I had a very heated discussion with a Principle on the nature of their relationship with my then Wife..When I came across txt messages while I was away at work..The conversations were somewhat Strange and inappropriate into the late hours of the night

    Reply

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