Sentencing in theft case delayed

The sentencing hearing for a former Northside Middle School administrative assistant who admits taking money generated by school functions has been postponed.

Michelle Rooks, 39, is now scheduled to be sentenced at 2 p.m. Oct. 29 by Bartholomew Circuit Court Judge Stephen Heimann.

The County Road 250E resident, who pleaded guilty April 27 to theft, was originally scheduled to hear the court’s judgment Thursday. However, another matter emerged that required Heimann’s immediate attention, court officials said.

Rooks was fired from Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. in January when discrepancies were found in middle school accounts where cash was to be deposited from athletics events, concessions, fundraisers and field trips.

A state audit released in August showed $113,914 was unaccounted for in financial accounts overseen by Rooks during a six-year period.

As part of a plea bargain, Rooks agreed to make full restitution. When investigative and other fees are figured in, she will be required to pay $134,354.

By pleading guilty to theft as a Level 6 felony, Rooks could receive six months to 2½ years in prison and be ordered to pay up to an additional $10,000 in fines.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.