Dundalk Middle PTSA gets its $4,000 back after theft
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 12:27

Oak Lawn and Baker family help with funds

by Ben Boehl

    Dundalk Middle School Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) president Eric Washington has reported that the PTSA has recovered the money lost in an embezzlement scandal last year.    
    Former PTSA president Stacy Lee Baker pleaded guilty on Jan. 30 to the theft of over $4,370 from the school’s PTSA and was sentenced to a five-year jail term, with four years suspended, on March 31.
    At the time, the Dundalk Middle PTSA had not been repaid the $4,000 that was stolen.
    When the news surfaced, Oak Lawn Cemetery president Barry Alderson asked his office manager Jody Vaughan if there was some way the cemetery could help.
    “Mr. Alderson saw it in The Eagle and brought it to my attention,” Vaughan recalled. “We were able to give $1,000 and wanted to see if we could collect more donations.”
  

Oak Lawn took out an ad in the March 27 Eagle saying it would make a $1,000 contribution and asking other members of the community to help the PTSA recover its lost funds.
    Vaughan added that Oak Lawn tries to help out local schools by offering Dundalk, Patapsco and Sparrows Point high school students annual scholarships and noted that the cemetery provided the old Eastwood Center with new dictionaries.
    “We thought this would be a way to pitch in for them,” Vaughan said. “We love Dundalk and want to help the community.”
    Washington also responded to a letter in the April 17 Eagle suggesting that it is not the community’s job to reimburse the PTSA.
    Washington said that his PTSA never asked for community help and that Oak Lawn Cemetery stepped up with its own contribution.
    “We never asked for any donations. We did not ask for funding from Oak Lawn. They were generous enough [to make a contribution],” Washington said.
    Washington added that Baker’s family repaid the entire $4,370 that was owed to the school, but he could not provide any more details.
    “[The reimbursement] came in, but I don’t know which family member [of Baker provided the funding],” he said.
    Washington who is a candidate for the House of Delegates, was the former PTSA vice president and was asked to take over as president after the incident. He said at the time that he planned to step down once the money was recovered for the PTSA.    
    Now that the money is back in the treasury, Washington said he would like to stay involved with the PTSA. He said it would be up to Dundalk Middle principal Seth Barrish to decide if he can stay on as president if he is elected to the House of Delegates, but he said he would like to at least remain a PTSA board member.
    “I plan to stay. My child will still be in the school and  I plan to be an active parent,” Washington said.