GALLATIN, Tenn. – The mid-state school employee who was arrested for stealing thousands of dollars from the school to pay her personal bills will appear before a judge Thursday morning.
Penny Knight was the bookkeeper for Beech Elementary School in Hendersonville. She was indicted by a grand jury in April on two counts of theft, one count of money laundering and 19 counts of forgery.
Knight was arrested in early September.
The state comptroller's office said they discovered Knight stole $20,000 from the school and used the money to pay off personal loans, groceries, electronics and other items.
Some of the money was taken from gift cards that were intended for school use. After the cases came to light, officials with Sumner County Schools decided to stop using the gift card system in the district.
Knight resigned in early 2010 after an internal auditor found thousands of dollars missing from the school's account.
At the time of the original investigation, state officials also found money had been misused at Millersville Elementary. Principal Shelly Petty was accused of misappropriating money that teachers said should have gone to field trips.
As a result, they told authorities that several trips were canceled because that money wasn't available. A new principal has since been named at the school.