PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A sizable amount of money from a Westmoreland County booster club went missing.
And now, a former Booster president is accused of bilking young football players out of nearly $30,000.
The Derry High School football team works hard on the field.
But it’s the parents in the booster club who work hard off the field to make it all possible.
They organize ticket sales and gun bashes to fund camps and new equipment.
This year they are buying new uniforms, with a $28,000 price tag.
That’s the same amount that was allegedly stolen between 2009 and 2011 by former booster club president Lori Nicely.
“When the treasurer was trying to balance the books and trying to account for some of the money that was missing, the sum didn’t add up,” said State Police Tpr. Steve Limani.
When the booster club board confronted Nicely, she returned around $8,000 to the coach in a brown paper bag.
It’s not clear how the rest of the money was used.
“Generally what would happen is they would sell $5,000 worth of tickets, they would be able to receive $2,500 worth of compensation for the football program as profit.” Limani said. “Unfortunately the $2,500 wasn’t being reported, she would take a portion of that money and she kept doing that over a large period of time.”
It’s a situation that is both heartbreaking and frustrating for current booster president Jodie Edmiston.
“It’s frustrating because you work so hard to raise that money and then not to have it,” Edmiston said. “It’s heartbreaking because you want to give the kids everything and now you might have to charge some fees for things we gave away for free before.”
Edmiston says the boosters work hard year round to make the football program the best it can be and the theft in years past was situational.
Nicely’s son answered the door at her home today, saying his family had no comment about the charges.