The superintendent of a school system in Indiana is facing fraud charges after helping a student by using her personal health insurance. Casey Smitherman, the superintendent of Elwood Community Schools is currently out on bail after being charged with a number of crimes.
Smitherman said that she was concerned about the welfare of the student after he had missed school. After visiting his home, they discovered he was ill with a severe sore throat. She and her husband had helped him in the past by cleaning his home and buying clothes. This time, she took him to a local clinic.
Since the child was a minor and she was not his legal guardian, the clinic would not help. She decided to take him to another clinic and pretended he was her son so that they could use her health insurance for treatment. A prescription was given for an antibiotic and the medical bill totaled $233.
The student was telling other people about what the superintendent had done and the situation came to light. Smitherman surrendered to police voluntarily and was charged with a number of crimes, including insurance fraud, official misconduct, and identity deception. She admitted that she had made a mistake but was only concerned for his well-being at the time.
A ‘diversity deal’ was made with the persecution’s office, stating that if she avoids being arrested for one year the charges will be dropped. She would not have a criminal record at that time. The school board supported her in her decision.
She said the following is a statement:
“The Elwood community has been welcoming since I started this position, and I am so grateful for your support. I am committed to this community and our students, and I regret if this action has undermined your trust in me. From the beginning, my ultimate goal has been to provide the best environment for Elwood students’ growth physically, mentally and academically, and I remain focused on that purpose.”
Authorities are convinced that Smitherman acted with the best of intentions but learned a hard lesson in the process. In the future, it would be preferred if child services were contacted.