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A local school board member has been charged with theft and forgery.

Jolee Dickey, 38, of Bismarck has been charged with one count of felony theft (value of property greater than $500 but less than $25,000), and two counts of felony forgery.

Charges against Dickey were filed on June 28 and a criminal summons was issued on July 1. Dickey is scheduled to appear for arraignment on Aug. 1. Dickey is a current member of the Bismarck Board of Education. 

According to a probable cause statement by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, an investigation began against Dickey on Oct. 10, 2017. The investigation was to look into the misappropriation of funds from the Bismarck R5 Parent Teacher Organization.

According to the report, Dickey, then-treasurer of the organization, admitted to other members that she had reimbursed herself with funds from the organization without having receipts to back up the reimbursements.

The report states that the MSHP worked with the Bismarck Police Department to secure the financial records of both Dickey and the PTO. When the records were received they were sent to a forensic accountant for analysis.

According to the report, the forensic accountant found a total of $2,947.53 worth of reimbursement checks that Dickey had written to herself but had no receipts to back up. When interviewed, Dickey admitted that she had reimbursed herself for expenses for which she had not paid.

In addition, the report states that the forensic accountant found a forged bank statement used to back up one of her reimbursements. This document did not match the record obtained from the bank. The forensic accountant also found a receipt from a local grocery store on which the date appeared to have been manually altered.

Bismarck Superintendent Jason King has advised that any pending issues related to this matter will be resolved at the next Board of Education meeting on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

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Matt McFarland is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3616.

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