A Williamsburg woman, who stole money from the Whitley County Board of Education and the Kentucky Association of School Business Officials (KASBO), has now paid all of her restitution, but a lawsuit filed against her by KASBO’s insurance company is apparently still pending.
Leigh Burke, 56, was sentenced on March 19 to a probated five-year prison term after pleading guilty on Jan. 22 to seven counts of theft involving the school district, and three counts of forgery and three counts of theft in the KASBO case.
Her restitution was $18,018.61 to the school district, which includes about $12,700 for a forensic audit and other investigative expenses, and $30,851.56 to KASBO for the theft and investigative expenses.
KASBO had a commercial crime coverage policy through the Ohio Casualty Insurance Company, which reimbursed the organization all but the $1,000, which was the organization’s deductible, officials said.
On Dec. 17, Burke’s attorney, Jim Wren II, withdrew as her legal counsel in a civil lawsuit that was filed against her on March 9 by The Ohio Casualty Insurance Company, which is seeking to collect the $25,244.14 that it reimbursed KASBO, plus interest. In addition, Ohio Casualty wants to be reimbursed for attorney and accountant fees and costs, according to the lawsuit.
Burke was in court that day for a review to see if restitution had been paid in her cases.
During the hearing, Wren noted that her restitution had been paid in full, and he asked that her supervised probation in Florida, which is where she now lives, be changed to unsupervised probation, which means she wouldn’t have to report to probation officers as often or perhaps not at all.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Allen Trimble objected to this request.
“Your honor, she stole from kids,” Trimble noted.
Judge Paul Winchester ordered that Burke’s probation be continued, but he left the decision about whether she should be on supervised or unsupervised probation up to her probation officer in Florida.
Burke was fired from the school district in June 2016 amid allegations of misappropriation of school funds.
KASBO is a professional association providing support and professional development opportunities for individuals whose primary responsibility is the business management of a school district.
Burke served as president of KASBO during the 2011-2012 fiscal year, and was serving as treasurer of the group when the forgery and theft occurred.