A former member of the Woodridge Local Schools Board of Education has pleaded guilty to embezzling nearly $100,000 from a University of Akron sorority.
Melissa Wilkinson of Cuyahoga Falls pleaded guilty to two counts of grand theft on Wednesday, according to Summit County prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh.
Wilkinson, a former member of the Woodridge school board, was sentenced to a 12-month suspended sentence, with 120 days of house arrest and 100 hours of community service.
Wilkinson, 45, a Theiss Road resident, was a volunteer treasurer for Beta Tau Housing Corporation of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority until November of 2010, when the sorority filed a report of financial irregularities with the University of Akron police.
The ensuing investigation found that Wilkinson had stolen nearly $100,000 from the sorority and an additional $5,500 from the Junior Women's Civic Club of Akron, for which she also was treasurer.
Akron police seized property from Wilkinson's home as restitution that will be used to fund roof repairs for the University of Akron sorority house and to fund scholarships for the civic club, prosecutors told Newsnet5.
In a press release, Bevan Walsh said, “University of Akron Lt. Bryan Taylor and the university’s internal auditor Nathan Mortimer conducted a thorough investigation without which we might not have discovered the extent to which Ms. Wilkinson defrauded two nonprofit organizations. I’m extremely pleased with the work of everyone involved, and I am especially glad that these two organizations are finally able to get their money back.”
Wilkinson resigned from the Woodridge school board in July, saying she wanted to spend more time with her family.
Wilkinson also resigned from the Junior Akron Women's Civic Club earlier this year.
In an email, Woodridge Board of Education president Cheryl Hoover said, "School board members have no access to school funds whatsoever. The district was not vulnerable to any misappropriation. Mrs. Wilkinson was a good school board member. We do not wish to comment on her current personal life."
In addition to the other sentencing terms, Judge Judy Hunter ordered a mental health evaluation for Wilkinson.