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Charges filed against band mom

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

The theft of more than $5,000 from a high school band booster group led to 16 criminal charges filed Monday against a Bainbridge woman.

Connie McCurrey, who had been the treasurer for the North Putnam Band Parents Organization since June 2004, faces the Class D Felony charges after police say she was unable to explain 23 instances of missing deposits for the group.

McCurrey had been treasurer for the North Putnam Band Parents, a tax exempt organization with finances separate from the school, since June 2004. Her daughter Kimberly, now a student at Indiana State University is a past member of the North Putnam High School band. She is also implicated in the theft, court records show.

According to court documents, other band parents and school administrators confronted McCurrey on Jan. 18 with a list of questionable checks and deposits dating back to April 2005.

The papers say McCurrey told the group that 19 checks made payable to cash, ranging in amounts from $50-$527, were for change and food at fundraisers. However, other parent volunteers claim in the documents that the food for the events in question, including a car show, chili supper, spring concert and "rock-a-thon" either was never purchased or was donated by volunteers and not bought using the organization's money.

Also, the court documents claim, deposit records do not reflect money taken out of the Band Parents' account before the fundraisers or any profits made at the events.

Included in the documents is an interview with Kimberly McCurrey by Putnam County Special Investigator Thomas Miller.

Miller says Kimberly McCurrey confessed to cashing several of the checks, signing them with her mother's name.

She said she cashed one of the checks for $500 and purchased a money order to pay for the women's rent.

Handwriting samples taken during the interview match signatures on several of the checks cashed at Farmer's State Bank, Forum Credit Union and National City Bank, Miller said in the report.

A search warrant executed at the home produced some receipts which could have been related to band purchases, Miller said, but only would account for $41.03 of the missing money.

On Tuesday morning, Putnam Superior Court officials confirmed charges and an arrest warrant had been issued for Connie McCurrey.

North Putnam High School Principal Alan Zerkel would not comment on the specifics of the ongoing investigation, but said the band parents usually work hard to help the student music groups.

"The Band Parent Organization supports the instrumental programs, the concert band, the marching band and the winter drumline," he said. "They are like any other parent support group. Through fundraisers, elbow grease and volunteer time they help the program by providing funds, building things that are needed in shows and that kind of thing."

The court documents show Connie McCurrey currently faces several civil judgments in Putnam County dating back to July 2003, totaling $10,294.43.

Sarah Lipps is a reporter for the BannerGraphic in Greencastle

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