Parents draft petition calling for investigation of disappearing school lunch dollars

A leader of the effort says money routinely disappeared from her son’s card account.

CAMDEN COUNTY, Mo. —  A petition is being circulated, requesting the Missouri State Auditor’s office conduct a separate audit investigation into the case of the Camdenton R-III School District employee who is being investigated by the Camdenton Police Department for embezzling money from the school district.

Nancy Steward, parent of several Camdenton R-III alumni, is heading up the petition effort. Steward had three children in the district before they graduated, and she has one young grandchild who will attend school in the district.

Steward said the state auditor’s office requires at least 930 signatures to comply with her request; as of Monday, Nov. 24, she had 100.

“I just started collecting signatures on Friday, Nov. 14, and the snow has slowed me down some,” Steward said.

She explained that the reason she wants a separate audit is because the investigation currently being conducted by the Camdenton Police Department only goes back a few years, and the employee that is being investigated is thought to have worked for the school for at least 12 years.

“That means there was a lot more money stolen than what they are going to charge her with,” Steward said.

According to Camdenton R-III School District Superintendent Tim Hadfield, the State of Missouri only requires school districts to keep records for three years.

“We had five years of records so we had even more information than is required,” Hadfield contended.

Steward alleges the district has not been forthcoming about the source of the money that was stolen. She says the thing that infuriates her the most is the employee did not steal from the school district or the taxpayers. “She stole from children,” Steward fumed.

“My own son would come home and tell me he didn’t have any money on his lunch card when I knew I just gave him

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