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Stilson’s PTO president arrested

43-year-old Denise Bath charged with theft by conversion

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    Sheriff’s investigators arrested the president of an elementary school parent-teacher organization Friday on charges of theft by conversion.
    Denise Gail Bath, 43, Old River Road, Brooklet, was charged Friday with the offense, said Bulloch County Sheriff’s Chief Investigator Capt. Todd Hutchens.
    Bath, president of the Stilson Elementary School PTO, took about $5,000 from the PTO account and “converted the funds to her own use,” he said.
    The alleged thefts took place between August 21 and Dec. 31, he said.
    The crime is a felony, as the amount of money alleged to have been taken is over $500, he said. “Whether she took $600 or $5,000, it is still a felony.”
    The money came form PTO fund-raising events, Hutchens said.
    The parent-teacher organization is a private group affiliated with, but not part of the Bulloch County school system, he said.
    Bulloch County School Superintendent Dr. Jessie Strickland praised the Stilson Elementary School Principal Dennis Carpenter for his attention to the matter.
    “When the principal discovered the discrepancy, the appropriate authorities were contacted,” she said. “Capt. Hutchens came and investigated, and we will proceed appropriately with that situation.”
    Parent-teacher organizations are “monitored and policed by their own members, and we appreciate those that operate with by-laws,” she said.
    Bath was taken to the Bulloch County Jail where she was assigned a $5,000 bond, Hutchens said.
    Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at 489-9414.
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