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Former RRMR teacher charged with felony theft

By Bob Steenson,

A former Rudd-Rockford-Marble Rock teacher who was being investigated for more than $25,000 of alleged improper financial actions involving school-related funds has been charged with first-degree theft, a Class C felony.

Deborah Lynne Kadera, age 52, was arrested Monday and made her first appearance in Floyd County District Court on Tuesday. She was released under the supervision of the Iowa Department of Correctional Services.

Former RRMR teacher charged with felony theft
Deborah Kadera

The criminal complaint filed in court accuses Kadera of committing theft by taking property in excess of $10,000 belonging to the RRMR Community School District while working for that district between May 1, 2009, and Jan. 31, 2019.

As the Press earlier reported, a state audit requested by the RRMR School District had identified more than $25,000 in improper or unsupported financial actions allegedly made by Kadera while she was responsible for managing the finances of the RRMR Parent Teacher Organization and the junior class.

The Iowa Auditor’s Office said that Kadera, a former special education teacher, had allegedly failed to deposit receipts from fundraisers into the proper accounts and had deposited funds from the PTO account into her own private bank account and an account belonging to her son.

The report identified $18,087 that had been collected or earned through various PTO and junior class fundraisers that allegedly had never been deposited into the proper accounts, $3,784 in payments from PTO accounts that it described as “improper,” and $3,163 in payments from accounts that it said did not have proper documentation.

Kadera was placed on administrative leave by the school district in January 2019 after discrepancies in the PTO accounts were brought to the administration’s attention, and she was later terminated from her position.

The situation came to the district’s attention when a former PTO member whose name was still listed on the organization’s bank account was informed that the accounts were overdrawn and reported that to the school administration, the state report said.

After the school district business manager began investigating the PTO and class accounts, the district contacted the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office and the office of Auditor of State.