Former CFO for Ozark Board of Ed Faces Felony Charges

(MONTGOMERY) - Attorney General Luther Strange announced the arrest of a former chief financial officer for the Ozark City Board of Education for multiple felony charges involving public funds.

Monica Baker Foote, 53, of Ozark, surrendered on January 18 to the Dale County Sheriff’s Office and was released on bond.

The Attorney General’s Office presented evidence to a Dale County grand jury on January 7 resulting in Foote’s indictment.* Specifically, the indictment charges four counts:

·violation of the state ethics law by intentionally using her official position for the unlawful personal gain of money or checks,

·first-degree theft of property--money or checks valued at more than $2,500--from the Ozark City Board of Education;

·first-degree theft of property by deception, of money or checks valued at more than $2,500 from the Ozark City School Board; and

·acting as a public officer to knowingly convert public revenue received at her office for her own personal use.

All four of the charges are class B felonies, punishable by two to 20 years imprisonment and fines of up to $30,000 for each count.

An audit by the Alabama Department of Examiners of Public Accounts was referred to the Attorney General’s Office finding $102,170 of inappropriate expenditures by Foote.

The audit is a report on the Ozark City Board of Education from June 1, 2006, through September 30, 2009, and was issued on May 7, 2010.

The audit notes Board of Education checks made payable to the Chief Financial Officer that were voided in the computer but that were actually cashed, as well as funds received for unearned/undocumented wages, improper travel reimbursements, improper reimbursement of reception expenses, and other undocumented payments.

No further information or comment about the investigation or about Foote’s alleged crimes other than that stated in the indictment may be released at this time.

Attorney General Strange commended Assistant Attorneys General Ben Baxley and Pete Smyczek of his Public Corruption and White Collar Crimes Division, and Senior Special Agent Assie Webb of his Investigations Division, for their work on this case.

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