Redding School Board President’s Wife Arrested

wanell-stolz

Wanell Stolz, the wife of Redding School Board board of trustees president Reinhard Stolz, was arrested today on suspicion of embezzlement and grand theft.

Redding police investigators searched the Stolzes’ home today and Wanell Stolz was booked into Shasta County Jail, said Deputy District Attorney Erin Dervin, who filed the case.

Wanell Stolz, 51, was the treasurer of the Sycamore Elementary School Parent Faculty Club and also worked in the library, Dervin said. Wanell Stolz is suspected of stealing $13,385 during her tenure from 2004 until September 2009, Dervin said Wednesday. 

“We believe over a four- to five year period she systematically over-reimbursed herself and paid herself money out of an account she was not intended to,” Dervin said.

The investigation has been going on for nearly a year, Dervin said. One element to the case involves alleged over-reimbursement of several items purchased by Stolz, including books, cameras and video cameras.

Dervin said her office was originally notified about the issue in June of 2009, but because of the complicated nature of the case, it took a large block of time to investigate and gather evidence. Wanell Stolz was not in her position with the parent faculty club by the fall of 2009, so the pressure to immediately file a case was lifted, Dervin added.

A new treasurer for the faculty club at Sycamore Elementary School was among those who began to suspect wrongdoing, Dervin said.

“She had suspicion because there were some missing documents and some things were just not matching up,” Dervin said. “She brought it to the attention of the school.”

With a binder and a half of copied checks and nearly five years of bank records, there is plenty of material related to the case, Dervin added.

“There’s a lot of evidence in these paper cases,” Dervin said. “But the beauty, if you will, is that there’s a paper trail. It’s hard to argue with a check or a document.”

jim-dyar-125Jim Dyar is a news, arts and entertainment journalist for A News Cafe and the former arts and entertainment editor for the Record Searchlight’s D.A.T.E. section. Jim is also a songwriter and leader of the Jim Dyar Band. He lives in Redding. E-mail him at jimd.anewscafe@gmail.com.

 

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is a journalist who focuses on arts, entertainment, music and the outdoors. He is a songwriter and leader of the Jim Dyar Band. He lives in Redding and can be reached at jimd.anewscafe@gmail.com
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8 Responses

  1. Avatar Adrienne jacoby says:

    As my mother used to say, "Be sure your sins will find you OUCH!!"

  2. Avatar Budd Hodges says:

    Ya get caught with your hand in the cookie jar, where it shouldn't have been in the first place and you pay the price. It's happened so many times in the past at all levels of society in business and public agencys and sometimes the guilty get found out and charged. Good luck with that and good story Jim.

    I'm praying for you Mrs. Stolz. You've got a hard row to hoe going through our court system.

  3. Avatar Pat j. says:

    These type of crimes are so sad. Why anyone would risk so much for so little is beyond my understanding.

  4. Avatar Karen C says:

    I'm glad she was caught…probably not the first time she has stolen, nor will it be the last. I'm surprised it took so long…maybe the school should take a look at their accounting procedures…parents should also pay attention to what is going on with the money they give. Especially when a huge amount of time is donated to fund raising. There are so many small shops I frequent in Redding and someone always has a fund-raiser going for their school. It becomes rather frustrating to be asked constantly to donate. I finally stopped all of it, when orders were turned in wrong, products were inferior, or came in too late because of disorganization of the part of the parent sending the orders in.

  5. Avatar A Brady says:

    As a teacher, you can image that I am often asked by students to purchase raffle tickets, buy spaghetti dinner tickets, car wash tickets, performance tickets, etc. I buy as many of them as possible as it comes along with the job.

    As a parent, of course, I bought all sort of fundraiser items (cookie dough, mugs, T-shirts, etc) to assist my daughter's class/school budgets.

    Also, active with several school groups, I have only seen honest, supportive parents. It is important that each group has by-laws that include oversight of all monies. If the double-check systems are in place, I think it discourages problems from arising and encourages honesty with every expenditure. It also takes the burden off of the person dealing with the money as they know that they are being double-checked and any errors (we are all human- errors happen) can come to light quickly and be dealt with appropriately.

    I hope restitution is done quickly so these school programs (and ultimately, the kids) do not suffer.

  6. Avatar Donna says:

    Do you really believe the higher ups in the school district tried to cover this up? I really don't know what to think. The Principal at Sycamore says she was told to give a good evaluation regardless. The Parent committee says they tried to bring up a few years back and nothing was done. I am trying to be fair minded, but wonder if there are parts of this story, we are not hearing?

    If for sure, this lady did steal all that money (dishonest) she should be made to pay. This puts a black mark on all the truly dedicated parents who are trying to do their best when it comes to their children and the school. And don't forget, many parents are dedicated and volunteer freely.

  7. Avatar Karen C says:

    The paper trail is what led to her arrest. Do you think that RPD would make an arrest with out the proper evidence?

  8. Avatar Todd Gandy says:

    Just found out she is being transferred to my daughter's school (Cypress Elementary) half time and is going to be half time at Juniper.

    Any concerned parents out there?

    How can they be keeping her in the school system with this criminal investigation underway?

    To paraphrase Chris Rock: if she'd done this at McDonalds they wouldn't trust her around the Happy Meals.

    Might be a good time to go to the school board meeting this next Tuesday.