Crappell restitution includes memorial fund


BERWICK — Of the $77,347 in restitution paid by Penny T. Crappell a week ago, $2,259 went to the Grant T. Hebert Memorial Fund Monday.

Crappell pleaded no contest Nov. 5 to theft over $1,500. Of the restitution amount, nearly $59,000 was actual funds stolen and an additional $18,700 was to cover costs the school system incurred in audit fees.

Most of the money stolen from Berwick Elementary School by the former school secretary and town councilwoman came from fundraisers and out of the school activity fund over the course of several years.

However, one of the checks found during the audit of school records had a memo note that said “Hebert fund balance,” according to Barbara Watts, an accountant with Darnall, Sikes, Gardes and Frederick who performed the audit of the school’s books.

In an effort to bring closure to the situation, a check for $2,259 was turned over to Malissa Hebert for the Hebert memorial fund Monday, Alton Perry, school system chief financial officer said. During Grant Hebert’s second battle with leukemia in 2009, several fundraisers were held at Berwick Elementary, where Malissa Hebert was a special services teacher.

Grant Hebert passed away at the age of 20 on Nov. 8, 2009. The memorial fund was established in his memory to award two scholarships annually.

Also, $3,620 was specifically transferred to an account for the school’s after care program, Perry said. The remaining balance of the restitution funds have been set aside in a separate, new account for Berwick Elementary, he added.

“This concludes the matter,” Perry said.

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