- A school superintendent in Indiana has been arrested on charges of official misconduct, insurance fraud, and identity deception.
- Casey Smitherman, the superintendent of Elwood Community Schools, helped a 15-year-old student seek medical treatment under her son’s name.
- After the student, who has not been identified, did not come into school on January 9, Smitherman went to his house and brought him to get medical treatment and medication.
- The superintendent turned herself into police.
- She has been placed in a diversion program, which means charges against her will be dropped if she is not arrested in the year.
A school-district official in Indiana has been arrested on multiple charges after bringing a student to get medical help and paying for his medication, Fox 59 reported.
Casey Smitherman, the superintendent of Elwood Community Schools, helped a 15-year-old student seek medical treatment under her son’s name, per the outlet.
The student, who has not been identified, did not come to school on January 9. In a statement provided to Fox 59, Smitherman said she felt compelled to check on the student.
“He told me that he had not felt well enough to come to school,” Smitherman said. “After making sure he had eaten, I could tell he had some of the symptoms of strep throat. As a parent, I know how serious this illness can be if left untreated, and I took him to an emergency clinic.”
However, doctors at the clinic would not treat the teen because he did not have insurance, Smitherman said in her statement. She brought him to a different clinic and told doctors that the boy was her son so he could be treated under her insurance.
A doctor at the second clinic prescribed the student with Amoxicillin in the name of Smitherman’s son, and the prescription was filled at a CVS pharmacy. According to documents reviewed by Fox 59, the total insurance claim was worth $US233.
Per court documents obtained by Fox 59, the student “knew it was wrong” and ripped the label off the pill bottle because he felt that “to have a prescription in his possession with a different name is bad.”
In her statement, Smitherman said that she knew her actions were wrong but that she acted out of concern. According to WISH, Smitherman had previously purchased clothing for this student and helped him clean his home.
“I knew he did not have insurance, and I wanted to do all I could to help him get well,” she said. “I know this action was wrong. In the moment, my only concern was for this child’s health.”
Smitherman said that despite her concern for the student, she did not report his situation to the authorities or the Department of Child Services because she didn’t want the teen to be placed in foster care. Following Smitherman’s arrest, police contacted the Department of Child Services and told them “financial help may be needed” for the 15-year-old.
Smitherman was arrested Wednesday on charges of insurance fraud, identity deception, and official misconduct. She was released on bail later that day.
Smitherman has been placed in a diversion program, which means charges against her will be dropped if she is not arrested again this year.
“I am committed to this community and our students, and I regret if this action has undermined your trust in me,” she said in her statement. “From the beginning, my ultimate goal has been to provide the best environment for Elwood students’ growth physically, mentally and academically, and I remain focused on that purpose.”
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