School bookkeeper charged with theft to apply for pre-trial diversion program

Published 4:45 pm Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A former LeCroy Career Technical Center employee facing 18 charges involving theft of property appeared in court Tuesday to file an application for a pre-trial diversion program.

Temika Varner Winters, 37, of Clanton, the former bookkeeper at the LeCroy Career Technical Center, allegedly stole nearly $50,000 from the school over an 18-month period, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney for the 19th Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office C.J. Robinson.

Winters was indicted in February by a grand jury on 18 charges including first-degree theft, one count of ethics violations and 16 counts of possessing a forged instrument.

Robinson said on Tuesday that Winters’ application for the pre-trial diversion program would be reviewed by a committee and would require the approval of the DA’s office, the victims and law enforcement before she could be approved for the program.

“Applying is not an automatic acceptance,” Robinson said.

If approved, Winters would participate in the program for nine months to a year that allows her charges to be dismissed by following court orders and paying all restitution in the case.

If Winters is not accepted into the program, her next court date would be Oct. 15.

Winters was originally arrested Nov. 26 after the District Attorney’s Office conducted an investigation of suspected theft at the request of the Clanton Police Department due to a conflict of interest.

Robinson said at the time of her arrest that Winters’ husband was an officer with the Clanton Police Department so the district attorney’s office brought in a special investigator to look into the case.

The investigation started after an employee at LeCroy noticed some unusual accounting practices.

Robinson said Winters worked for the Chilton County Board of Education for 15 years.

At the time of her arrest, Robinson said in this particular case, forged instruments referred to checks.

Winters was taken to the Chilton County Jail on Nov. 26 with a $100,000 bond.

She has since been released from jail on bond, and was indicted Feb. 14 by the grand jury.

The Chilton County BOE approved Winters’ resignation on Feb. 18.