$11,194 Payment- School Teacher Quits Job; Agrees To Make Restitution
School Teacher Quits Job; Agrees To Make Restitution
By Andrew Gorosko
Under the terms of a legal agreement, a Newtown High School teacher, who is facing multiple criminal felony charges including forgery and larceny, has quit her job and has agreed to make more than $11,000 in restitution to the public schools.
Sabrina Post, 47, of 18 Split Rock Road, Newtown, had been defending herself at an ongoing Board of Education job termination hearing through which school officials had sought to fire her in light of the eight criminal charges pending against her in Danbury Superior Court.
In court, Ms Post has pleaded ânot guiltyâ to one count of first degree larceny, two counts of second degree larceny, four counts of second degree forgery, and one count of criminal attempt to commit fifth degree larceny. Seven of the eight charges are felonies. Ms Post is free on a written promise to appear in court.
Those eight charges involve the stateâs claims that Ms Post allegedly fraudulently obtained several thousand dollars of funds, goods, and services from the public school system.
The legal agreement reached between Ms Post and the school system states, âThe [school] board and [Ms] Post agree that it is in their mutual interest that their employment relationship should end without further proceedings.â Ms Post signed the document on August 11. School Superintendent Evan Pitkoff approved it on August 18. The Newtown Federation of Teachers also endorsed it on August 18.
In the pact, Ms Post voluntarily resigns her teaching post, retroactively to June 30. Dr Pitkoff agrees to withdraw the termination proceeding.
Ms Post agrees to make restitution to the school system in the amount of $11,194.04, within two weeks of the agreementâs approval.
That sum well exceeds the amount of funds that Ms Post allegedly fraudulently obtained from the school system, as described in two police arrest warrant affidavits, which led to the eight criminal charges against her.Â
Also in the pact, the school board agrees to advise Danbury Superior Court officials that full restitution has been made by Ms Post to the school board, and that the school board does not intend to object to any application by Ms Post for âaccelerated rehabilitation,â or any similar disposition of the criminal charges pending against her.
Accelerated rehabilitation is a special form of pretrial probation for first-time offenders, which is intended to give them a second chance. Accelerated rehabilitation is granted at a judgeâs discretion.
Under the program, the pending criminal charges would be dismissed if Ms Post successfully completes a probationary period, during which she would stay out of trouble with the law and meet the specific terms of her probation. The maximum probationary period is two years.
Following complaints from school officials, Newtown police investigated allegations against Ms Post and arrested her on separate warrants on April 11 and April 27.
According to police, Ms Post allegedly submitted bogus reimbursement forms to the school system to obtain $1,735 in funds to attend two Connecticut Drama Association workshops in New York City in January 2003 and February 2004, which police say never occurred.
Police also allege Ms Post also fraudulently obtained or sought to obtain reimbursements from the school system for various goods and services, including, generally, bus transportation, music equipment purchases, electronic equipment purchases, and private music lessons. The aggregate amount involved in those offenses was somewhat greater than $2,000.
Ms Post had been Newtown High Schoolâs choral director, a senior class advisor, a Drama Club advisor, and had been the director of the NHS Drama Clubâs production of Show Boat.
On February 8, school officials placed Ms Post on administrative leave with pay and benefits, but then declined to comment on why Ms Post was removed from her duties as a teacher. Ms Post started working at Newtown High School in September 2001. Ms Postâs base salary for the 2004-2005 school year was $73,339. That sum does not include stipends for additional school duties, which add $12,000 to her salary.
Under the terms of the legal agreement between Ms Post and the school board, Ms Postâs personnel file will state that she resigned her position.
Also, the school board agrees that it will not initiate any teaching license revocation action or similar proceeding with the state Board of Education against Ms Post.
Â The pact states that the agreement is not any admission of wrongdoing by the school board or any admission by Ms Post that she committed acts which would subject her to criminal prosecution.
Â In endorsing the legal agreement, the teacherâs union agreed to withdraw any grievances against the school board relating to Ms Post.
Ms Post is scheduled to appear in Danbury Superior Court on September 8.
At Ms Postâs last court appearance on August 24, a state prosecutor said she will provide clarifying information on allegations concerning felony forgery charges that are pending against Ms Post, as has been requested by Ms Postâs attorney, Robert Lacobelle.
Mr Lacobelle has said he wants to know exactly what the state alleges against his client concerning the second-degree forgery charges because those allegations may not warrant those felony charges. The allegations may not even constitute third degree forgery, which is a misdemeanor, Mr Lacobelle has said.
After court on August 24, Mr Lacobelle said that after receiving the additional information on the forgery charges, âI am hopeful that I will be able to file a motion to dismiss every forgery charge.â