School superintendent who was charged after using her own insurance to help a sick student quits job
An Indiana school superintendent has resigned from her job after being charged with using her own insurance to help a sick student.
Superintendent of Elwood Community School, Casey Smitherman, released a statement last week announcing she would be leaving her job on Friday (February 2) and citing the public attention she had received as a reason for her decision.
During a Friday meeting, the school board accepted her resignation after the charges against her were discussed in an executive session.
Smitherman was charged last month with three felonies and a misdemeanour in an insurance fraud case after she allegedly used her son's insurance information to get treatment for a sick 15-year-old boy.
"I have dedicated my entire professional career to children and ensuring they have the best possible chance of success. My record of accomplishments clearly shows I have been successful in doing that," Smitherman wrote in a statement to WTTV news. "Unfortunately, my recent lapse in judgment has brought negative attention to the community and myself."
In her statement, she said her presence wouldn't help with the school achieving its goals in the future. She wrote: "As most educators will attest, the board, community, teachers and students need to be in alignment for a school system to achieve its goals. I do not feel that alignment exists at this time nor could exist in the near future and therefore, effective 02/01/2019, I am resigning from my position as the Superintendent of Elwood Community Schools.
"I am very embarrassed for that, and I apologize to the board, the community and the teachers and students of Elwood Community Schools/ I sincerely hope this single lapse in judgement does not tarnish all of the good work I've done for students over the span of my career."
According to a probable cause affidavit, the 48-year-old visited the teenager at his house when he didn't come to school on January 9. After discovering he had a sore throat, she allegedly took him to a medical centre where he was refused treatment.
She then took him to a different clinic and claimed that he was her son, using his name and insurance to get the prescription.
She was arrested on January 23, after turning herself into the Elwood Police Department.
Following her arrest, she admitted she had helped the student in the past; this included buying clothes for him and cleaning his house.
"I’m not saying it was right; I’m really sorry. I just was scared for him," Smitherman said, speaking about their visit to the medical centre, according to news station WLS-TV. "I would love to go back to that moment and redo it."
A woman named Audra Rich who claimed to be close to the teenager's family, told WTTV she disapproved of the superintendent's actions, stating: "He didn't need for her to come get him and take him to the doctor. She took him to go eat, she took him to go get a hair cut. That wasn't needed."
However, others have allegedly been more sympathetic to Smitherman's mission to help a young student she believed to be in need.
Smitherman told CBA: "I've heard from Seattle to New Jersey, and it's been, 'I recognize this, I've felt that way myself, I've helped kids myself' and so it's a plight educators across our country deal with."