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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sirens & Gavels

School PTO thief must repay $22,000

A former elementary school PTO treasurer is to repay $22,000 in stolen donations after pleading guilty to two felony theft charges this week.

Theresa L. Dewitt also was sentenced to a year probation in a plea deal approved Tuesday in Superior Court.

The longtime Whitman Elementary School volunteer, beginning in September 2006, bilked the PTO of money raised through sales of cookie dough and fine chocolate in what authorities described as an attempt to fund a gambling habit.

Dewitt apologized after her arrest and said she always intended to repay the money.

Her scheme unraveled just before school began in fall 2008, when the Whitman PTO president opened an overdraft statement from the bank. She and Dewitt were in the Whitman principals office when the president exclaimed: "We have no money. It's all gone."

Past coverage: Nov. 10: PTO theft charges filed

Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.