Wendy L. Swinton, 46, New London, was charged with felony theft.
She is accused of stealing more than $60,000 in cash from the New London School District over a five-year period.
On April 15, 2014, Officer Josh Wilson met with Joe Marquardt, the director of business services for the New London School District.
Marquardt was concerned that thousands of dollars had been stolen from the district.
About a month earlier, the district discovered that $700 in gate receipts were missing from the UW Marching Band’s visit to the high school.
The school district conducted its own investigation without uncovering any suspects or leads. Swinton assisted in the initial investigation.
Then the missing money was returned anonymously.
Marquardt began digging deeper into the possibility that other cash had been stolen from the district.
According to the criminal complaint, all New London schools place the cash they collect from game admissions, registration fees and student activities into envelopes and send them with receipts to the district office.
As the district office receives the money, it is placed into a safe. At the time, only Marquardt and Swinton had access to the safe.
Swinton was a payroll and accounting specialist for the district.
Among Swinton’s duties, she remove the cash and checks from the safe every Friday, created a spreadsheet and gave the money to another staff member to deposit in the bank.
Marquardt went back several years and compared the handwritten logs of the cash received at the games to the bank deposit receipts. He found thousands of dollars missing.
For example, in the 2009-10 academic year there were deposits missing from 18 athletic events that totaled $9,984.
Between 2009 and April 2014, the New London School District told police that it could verify the theft of $60,200 in cash.
In some instances, the entire envelope of cash was stolen and there was no receipt for it.
In other cases, the original receipts had been replaced and only some of the money stolen.
When Wilson questioned Swinton on April 17, she initially blamed the inconsistencies on the district’s procedures for handling money, the complaint says.
Wilson then pointed out specific inconsistencies between the receipts and her spreadsheets.
Swinton reportedly responded, “I’m sorry. It was me.”
Swinton said she had credit card debt due to her husband having a serious health problem and not working, the complaint says.