On Monday, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested Kaelin Mancuso Westberry, a P.E. teacher as well as a softball and volleyball coach at Kathleen High, on charges of grand theft, forgery and uttering a forged/altered instrument.
According to the arrest report, Mancuso (AKA Westberry) used white out to put her name on three different checks totaling $700.
“The check was altered as "Pay to the Order of" section was changed from "Kathleen Softball" to read "Kaelin Mancuso,” according to the probable cause affidavit.
The report stated that for one of the checks Mancuso said she “whited out the name on the check and wrote her name and deposited it into her personal bank account. She purchased team equipment with the money and did not report it to the school. She did not know the check was to be used for any advertising and did not think it was related to the sponsorship fundraiser her team was conducting at the time the check was written. Mancuso said she did not know it was wrong to change the checks and said she did not steal any money.”
Polk County Schools released this statement about Mancuso’s arrest:
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office has arrested Kaelin Mancuso Westberry, a P.E. teacher as well as a softball and volleyball coach at Kathleen High, on charges of grand theft, forgery and uttering a forged/altered instrument.
Polk County Public Schools has placed this employee on paid administrative leave, and an internal investigation has begun. We are cooperating fully with law enforcement in their investigation. We appreciate the Polk County Sheriff’s Office being swift and professional in responding to this situation.
The allegations against this employee are troubling. Many residents and businesses support our schools’ athletic and academic programs. The school district is grateful for the generosity of the community. Any misuse of these resources is unacceptable.
At Kathleen High, an internal account was set up last year for coaches to deposit funds and purchase items through Kathleen High’s athletic director and finance secretary. This was done to improve accountability.
Considering that this is the subject of an internal investigation as well as being a pending criminal case, we will not be providing an interview at this time. We will advise you accordingly if that changes.
Kaelin Mancuso’s annual salary is $42,171. Her hire date is 3/19/2012.
She has disciplinary action in her personnel file for the following:
April 2016 – written reprimand for using profanity
Mancuso bonded out of jail on Monday night.