A retired learning support teacher at Mount Nittany Elementary School is accused of theft and receiving stolen property after reportedly taking money from co-workers, according to State College police.
Charges were filed against Christine Poorman, 63, of Bellefonte, on Nov. 3, according to court documents. The counts stem from an alleged incident on Oct. 10, while Poorman was still employed by the district. In the weeks before the incident, paraprofessionals who worked with Poorman had been noticing money going missing from their purses, which they kept in the classroom they shared with Poorman, according to the criminal complaint.
One of the three paraprofessionals made photocopies of four $20 bills in her purse, police said. One of the bills went missing on the morning of Oct. 10 after leaving her purse unattended in the room. Police were notified, per the complaint, and Poorman at first denied taking the money, according to the complaint, before admitting to taking the $20. She told police she was “borrowing” the cash and intended to pay it back later, according to the complaint.
Poorman could not be reached for comment.
At the State College Area school board meeting on Oct. 27, the board accepted Poorman’s retirement, effective Oct. 23, according to the minutes.
Mount Nittany Elementary Principal Debra Latta declined to comment. State College Superintendent Bob O’Donnell confirmed that Poorman’s effective retirement date was Oct. 23 but declined to comment any further because the issue was a criminal matter.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Dec. 10.