PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Police say two local women who worked as lunch ladies stole from their school to gamble.
The women were in court Monday.
They were described as sweet, hard working lunch ladies, now they are called criminals by prosecutors – addicted to gambling, willing to steal to be able to play the slot machines.
Both women, long-time Charleroi Schools cafeteria workers say they intend to pay back every cent of the nearly $100,000 they allegedly stole from the district.
Stacey Shipley is one of the women accused of stealing.
“She has a gambling problem,” defense attorney Ray Amatangelo said. “She’s in Gamblers Anonymous. She put herself on the no entry list at the Meadows. She does have another job and fully intends on stepping up to the plate and making restitution.”
Former cafeteria worker Sheila Cook was also in court, accepting a reduction in charges while her lawyer admits her client also spent a lot of time gambling with other people’s money – money she wants to pay back.
“As soon as we have a firm amount of the restitution figure and how much she would be responsible for paying, that’s to be determined,” defense attorney Russ Korner said.
Both women worked in the Charleroi Cafeteria for more than eight years, an audit determined nearly $94,000 of lunch money was missing.
Apparently the two women took the cash and gambled it away at the Meadows.
“If you steal from the Charleroi Area School District, we are going to pursue,” Superintendent Brad Ferko said. “Pursue until we get to the bottom of it, because we owe it to our community and to our taxpayers.”