Ex-East High teacher charged with stealing from charity accounts

SIOUX CITY | A former East High School teacher has been charged with taking nearly $3,000 out of school accounts for Special Olympics and at least one other program.

Melissa Dickerson, 48, of Sioux City, turned herself in last week and was arrested on a charge of second-degree theft. She was released from jail on bond.

According to court documents, Dickerson, an East High special education teacher, opened bank accounts in 2013 under the names of East High Special Olympics and the Friendship Connection in violation of Sioux City Community School District policies aimed to prevent financial abuse of those types of funds.

Earlier this month, district officials were contacted by Wells Fargo bank and told that one of the accounts was overdrawn because of a Mid American Energy bill in Dickerson’s name, court documents said. A subsequent district investigation discovered numerous previously unknown accounts, many in Dickerson’s name, with suspicious charges and withdrawals, court documents said.

When confronted by district officials, court documents say, Dickerson admitted that she used money raised by East High Special Olympics and the Friendship Connection for her own benefit. She highlighted $2,960 in transactions from August 2016 through June that were made for her own personal use.

Dickerson has resigned from her teaching position, court documents said.

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