STILLWATER, Okla. (KFOR) – We’re learning more about an investigative audit that led to embezzlement charges being filed against a former Stillwater Public Schools employee.
Last week, Payne County District Attorney Laura Austin Thomas filed a felony embezzlement charge against Stacy Kay Hampton.
Hampton had served as an administrative assistant with the school nutrition services program for over 10 years with the district.
Hampton was placed on leave in 2019 when school officials launched an internal investigation into her work hours.
The nutrition program director discovered discrepancies in Hampton’s school-related financial records. Following the investigation, officials found more than $200,000 in missing cafeteria funds.
Cindy Byrd, Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector, conducted an independent forensic investigation.
Byrd’s office found that Hampton had misappropriated Stillwater Public School funds totaling $216,196.67 from fiscal year 2013 through fiscal year 2019.
“Based on our findings, this employee was literally taking food out of the mouths of children,” Byrd said. “Hampton was an administrative assistant for the school nutrition program and took money specifically earmarked to feed school kids. She was in charge of collecting money from school cafeterias and making the deposits. Based on work we performed, it appears Hampton embezzled a total of $216,196.67 from fiscal year 2013 through fiscal year 2019.”
In 2019 alone, Byrd’s office said there were 129 deposits totaling $20,799 in suspected misappropriation.
“This extensive and thorough investigation would not have been possible without the interagency cooperation of the Stillwater Public Schools, the State Auditor’s Office, and the Stillwater Police Department, working in concert to present a prosecutable criminal case,” said Laura Austin Thomas. “I am grateful the school brought this criminal activity to light and pursued further investigation.”
Hampton, if convicted, would face no less than one year and no more than 10 years in prison.