published Friday, April 11th, 2014

Ex-Whitwell High School bookkeeper charged with felony theft of school funds

A former bookkeeper at Whitwell High School was arrested Thursday night by the Marion County Sheriff's Office for misappropriating more than $35,000 in school funds.

Lois Alene Vandergriff, 49, is charged with theft over $10,000 and vandalism, according to a release from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

The Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury’s Division of Investigations audited the records of Whitwell High School for the time period between July 1, 2009, and Oct. 31, 2010.

The investigation revealed school collections totaling at least $35,332 were misappropriated by Vandergriff, who resigned her position Oct. 26, 2010.

The TBI opened a case at the request of 12th Judicial District Attorney General Mike Taylor on Oct. 21, 2013. Earlier this week, a Marion County grand jury returned two indictments for Vandergriff.

She was booked into the Marion County Jail and released after posting a $10,000 bond.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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