Penns Valley Area School District thefts lead to staff shuffle

A series of thefts from Penns Valley Area School District is having repercussions, but the district is offering few comments on the case.

On Feb. 8, state police at Rockview reported that between Jan. 16 and Feb. 4, money was stolen from “various Penns Valley School District athletic events.” The suspect was reportedly “developed” and known to the police, and the matter is under investigation.

Calls to the district seeking comment on the handling of athletics events were referred to high school Assistant Principal Laura Tobias. The Centre Daily Times was told she is serving in the capacity of the acting athletic director.

“I am currently unable to speak about the issue ... as the investigation is ongoing with the state police,” Superintendent Brian Griffith said.

Don Hosterman is Penns Valley’s longtime athletic director. Neither law enforcement nor the district would call him a suspect. Attempts to talk to Hosterman were unsuccessful.

No charges have been filed in the case.

Solicitor Scott Etter did say that the matter was staff-related.

“I, and Brian, see it as a personnel matter,” he said.

Etter said the district discovered the thefts, did its own “very brief” investigation, and turned information over to the state police.

Board of School Directors President Chris Houser also offered little comment on the case, but he did say he expects a resolution at the board meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

“I expect the board to take action at that time,” he said.

The amount of money stolen was not released by police or the district.

Trooper Jeffrey Ebeck is the investigating officer. He has been out of the office and unavailable for comment for several days. Information provided in the release put out Feb. 8 was brief and general.

Other calls and emails, including those to the principal and boosters were not returned.