A teacher and high-school choir director in Lebanon City Schools has been charged in Lebanon Municipal Court with theft, falsification, tampering with records and misuse of credit cards.
Kristi Ross, 36, of Centerville, was arraigned Dec. 23 and is scheduled to return to the municipal court Jan. 13 for a pretrial hearing on the charges.
She remained free on Thursday.
Online court records indicate the violations allegedly occurred on Oct. 26. The theft charge is a fifth-degree felony subject to review for indictment by a grand jury in Warren County Common Pleas Court.
The other three charges are first-degree misdemeanors that could be handled in the municipal court in Lebanon, unless she is indicted beforehand.
Ross, who has been with the Lebanon schools for 10 years, was placed on administrative leave on Oct. 31 “pending the investigation of certain matters relating to your employment.”
In November, Superintendent Todd Yohey said the accusation came from one of the school’s booster organizations and deals with “alleged financial discrepancies” with a booster group. He said it “does not involve students or taxpayer funds.”
School officials did not immediately respond to requests for Ross’ status with the district.
Ross previously taught and directed choirs in Carlisle Local Schools from 2006-2009. Superintendent Larry Hook indicated Ross’ personnel files showed no problems while she worked in the Carlisle school district.
In her 2009 application to Lebanon, Ross said she graduated from Miami University of Ohio with with a bachelor’s degree in music education and expected to complete her masters degree in 2011.
She also indicated she taught vacation Bible school and gave private voice and piano lessons.
“It is my goal, as a music teacher, to give back what was give to me. I want to instill in my students a love and appreciation of not only music, but what is out there in the world,” she wrote in the application.
Ross indicated she had never been convicted of anything “other than a minor traffic violation” in the June 8, 2009 application.
Ross hung up the phone when the newspaper called her seeking comment Thursday. No lawyer was listed in the court records.
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