An Indiana superintendent has resigned days after she was arrested for allegedly getting a high school student medical treatment using her son’s health insurance.
According to WTHR, Casey Smitherman’s resignation was announced during Friday’s Elwood school board meeting. The assistant superintendent will take on Smitherman’s role in the interim.
In a statement to the Indianapolis Star, Smitherman said her “recent lapse in judgment has brought negative attention” to the community, influencing her decision to step down.
“I am very embarrassed for that, and I apologize to the board, the community and the teachers and students of Elwood Community Schools. I sincerely hope this single lapse in judgment does not tarnish all of the good work I’ve done for students over the span of my career,” she said.
On January 23, Smitherman was charged with insurance fraud, identity deception, and official misconduct—all felonies—in addition to a misdemeanor count of insurance fraud for allegedly passing a 15-year-old student off as her son to get him medical treatment.
KFSM reported that Smitherman took the teen to the doctor on January 9 after she suspected he had strep throat when he didn’t come to school. She’s accused of signing the student into the doctor’s and obtaining a prescription for Amoxicillin using her son’s name. She reportedly paid a total of $223 for the student’s medical care.
After receiving a tip regarding her alleged actions, Smitherman reportedly told police that she was worried about the student when he didn’t come to school and revealed that she had previously bought him clothes and helped clean his home. She also claimed she didn’t call Department of Child Services regarding the 15-year-old because she was afraid he would be put in foster care, according to the news station.
Prosecutors recently offered Smitherman the opportunity to undergo a diversionary program, allowing her to confess to her crimes without having a conviction on her record, according to the Star.
WTHR reported that the school board was planning to vote on Smitherman’s fate Monday night, despite her resignation, but couldn’t due to a discrepancy in public meeting notice law. Previously, the board backed Smitherman and called her alleged actions an “unfortunate mistake.”
“Dr. Smitherman has tirelessly worked for the best interests of all students in Elwood Community Schools since she was hired,” they said in a statement. “We know she understands what she did was wrong, but she continues to have our support.”
[Featured Image: Casey Smitherman/Madison County Sheriff’s Office]