Former PTSA leader pleads guilty
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 13:20

The Dundalk Middle School PTSA is still trying to recover funds that were lost from last year. photo by Ben Boehl

Over $4,000 taken from Dundalk Middle School group

by Ben Boehl

The theft of over $4,000 from the Dundalk Middle School PTSA was finally resolved last month
as Stacy Lee Baker, 41, of the 40 block of Kinship Road pleaded guilty to charges related to the theft on Jan. 30.
    Baker is the former president of the Dundalk Middle School Parent Teacher Student Association.
    Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger said Baker was given a check by the Dundalk Middle PTSA treasurer of $4,370 to be sent to a candy vendor —World’s Finest Chocolate — for a fundraiser on May 16, 2013.
    A few weeks later, the treasurer received a call from the vendor asking for the check, which exposed the theft, Shellenberger explained.
    “Basically, the vendor called and wanted to know what happened to their money,” Shellenberger said.
    According to court records, the treasurer contacted the PTSA’s bank and discovered that the $4,370 check had been cashed on May 17, 2013, a day after it had been written.
    After a copy of the check was provided, it was reported that the $4,370 check was written to David Nagel, who is Baker’s fiancé.
    The records show that Baker met with the treasurer and a police officer and told them that “the funds must have accidentally been deposited into Nagel’s account.” Baker said she was going to talk to Nagel to find out what happened to the money.
    When the funds were not  returned by June 14, the PTSA executive board (without Baker) held a meeting and decided to press charges against Baker and Nagel.
    After visiting Baker and Nagel’s home on June 18, a police officer reported that Nagel was unaware of the situation.
    The officer said that Baker told him that Nagel was not involved and admitted to the officer that she had written Nagel’s name on the check and deposited it in their joint bank account.
    Baker told the officer that $4,370 was withdrawn from the account and she could not pay it back. Baker pleaded guilty on Jan. 30 and is scheduled to be sentenced on March 31.
    Shellenberger said his office will be looking for restitution of $4,072 to the Dundalk Middle PTSA.
    Dundalk Middle School principal Seth Barrish said that he has not received word as to whether or not the school will receive restitution from Baker as the case is in court.
    Barrish did say that the Dundalk Middle PTSA is still doing well and is functioning despite the loss of that money.
    The PTSA is trying to recover the funds from its insurance.
    “We had a few fundraisers in the fall to try to build back up [the account],” Barrish said.
    After Baker was removed as PTSA president, PTSA vice president Eric Washington took over as president. Washington is also a candidate for the House of Delegates.
    “Mr. Barrish asked me to take over. I’ve got a lot on my plate right now, but I don’t know if anyone else would have done it,” Washington said.   
    Barrish said that Washington was able to auction Baltimore Ravens sports memorabilia, which was helpful in replacing some of the lost funds.
    “He has done a good job as president,” Barrish said about Washington.
    “He helped create a fundraiser for Dundalk Middle and generated some funds for the PTSA.”
    Washington added that he wants to remain on as president until the funds are recovered. He also is trying to rebuild community trust in the Dundalk Middle PTSA.
    “I hope it does not become a reflection on the future of the Dundalk Middle PTSA. These organizations should be trusted,” Washington said.     
    “Once in a while, you have a person that tips over the apple cart, but there are many good volunteers in the PTSA.”