Ex-teacher gets probation for stealing from school charity accounts

October 1, 2018


SIOUX CITY -- A former East High School special education teacher was placed on probation Monday and ordered to repay more than $5,000 she stole from school accounts for Special Olympics and another program.

Melissa Dickerson, 49, of Sioux City, pleaded guilty in Woodbury County District Court to one count of second-degree theft.

Citing Dickerson’s lack of a criminal record, District Judge Steven Andreasen suspended a five-year prison sentence and placed Dickerson on five years probation. She must repay $5,063 to the Sioux City Community School District and perform 100 hours of community service.

For nearly a year beginning on Aug. 26, 2016, Dickerson withdrew money from accounts she had set up under the names of East High Special Olympics and the Friendship Connection in violation of school district policies aimed at preventing financial abuse of those types of funds. Dickerson said Monday that she used the money, raised through donations and fundraisers, to pay personal bills.

A bank alerted district officials to suspicious transactions on the accounts. Dickerson eventually resigned from her teaching position and now works as a day care provider.

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