Former Roosevelt PTA president charged with stealing more than $5,500

Rick Wagner • Nov 16, 2019 at 7:30 AM

KINGSPORT — A former elementary school Parent Teacher Association president allegedly used the organization’s funds for personal “shopping sprees” at Walmart, according to a state investigation and a Sullivan County grand jury indictment.

Authorities say Donna Galloway stole at least $5,534 from the Roosevelt PTA between Jan. 19, 2014 and Aug. 17, 2017. An investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury’s Office, a grand jury indictment resulting from it and a Friday comptroller’s news release said Galloway had been indicted on three Class C felony charges after investigators determined she misappropriated more than 96% of the funds raised by community members intended for the school.

“These actions could have been prevented if the PTA had adopted financial controls, as required by state law,” Comptroller Justin P. Wilson said in the release. “Not only did PTA officials fail to separate financial responsibilities, but they also did not retain supporting documentation for many purchases.”

The release said the PTA ceased operations at the end of the 2018-19 school year. A copy of the Oct. 16 indictment is available online at https://comptroller.tn.gov/content/dam/cot/ia/advanced-search/2019/school-support-organization/RooseveltPTAExhibit.pdf.

Kingsport City Schools Assistant Superintendent of Administration Andy True said, “KCS has fully cooperated with the investigation throughout this process. And while we are greatly disappointed at the alleged actions and activities that led to these charges, we appreciate the time and efforts of the comptroller’s office in getting to the bottom of these issues.”

The investigation began after Roosevelt PTA board members reviewed the organization’s checking account records and discovered suspicious transactions, according to the news release. It said Galloway, who served several terms as president and treasurer, assumed control over all PTA financial responsibilities with no oversight from other board members.

For three years, Galloway allegedly stole from the PTA by keeping fundraising proceeds for herself, making cash withdrawals from the PTA account for her personal use, writing fraudulent personal checks to herself and “using PTA funds to go on at least eight personal Walmart shopping sprees. These Walmart purchases included Easter baskets, cat food, candy, groceries, toiletries, hair products, cough syrup and other personal items,” the release said.

Galloway resigned from the PTA board in December 2017 after new members asked about unexplained financial transactions.

On Oct. 16, Galloway was indicted by a Sullivan County grand jury on one count of forgery of more than $10,000 but less than $60,000; one count of forgery of more than $2,500; and one count of theft of more than $2,500.

To view the investigative report, go online to: https://comptroller.tn.gov/office-functions/investigations/find.html

If you suspect fraud, waste or abuse of public money in Tennessee, call the comptroller’s toll-free hotline at (800) 232-5454 or file a report online at: www.comptroller.tn.gov/hotline.