Former Kiona-Benton City School District employee to appear in court on theft charges

By Ty Beaver, Tri-City HeraldOctober 24, 2013 

A Benton City woman is due in court next week to face charges that she stole almost $900 in lunch money from the Kiona-Benton City School District last school year.

Sarah Haywood, 30, is charged with third-degree theft in Benton County District Court, court documents said.

Ki-Be Superintendent Rom Castilleja said the incident happened almost a year ago and that Haywood no longer is an employee. This is the second time in the past year that an employee has been accused of stealing from the district.

Haywood worked in one of the district's cafeterias as a cashier. District staff noticed an $876 discrepancy in lunch receipts for the period between February 2011 and May 2013, said court documents.

Haywood was interviewed by the district about the discrepancy and reportedly admitted to taking $20 on one occasion.

Benton County Sheriff's deputies investigated and Haywood allegedly said she took small amounts during a long period of time and that it could have added up to the missing amount.

"(Haywood) stated she had fallen on hard financial times and was sorry and promised to repay the money," court documents said.

Earlier this summer the district's maintenance and operations manager, Mark Noyes, was accused of stealing district property and trying to sell it on eBay.

He is charged with first-degree trafficking of stolen property. The Kiona-Benton City School Board did not renew his contract when it expired at the end of August.

w Ty Beaver: 509-582-1402;; Twitter: @_tybeaver

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