Liberty kindergarten teacher charged with theft placed on administrative leave

Local News

A kindergarten teacher at E.J. Blott Elementary School in Liberty has been placed on paid administrative leave and is facing theft charges.

Justina Hafely, 38, of Girard, was dismissed on Thursday and taken out of school.

An investigation into Hafely began on November 2. Investigators say she took three Chromebooks from the district. They say she also never turned in $30 of a student’s lunch money into the office, using it as if it were her own cash and misplaced money that was supposed to go towards equipment for the 7th and 8th-grade cheerleading squad she coached.

“Whether or not she had intended to spend the money, whether she misplaced it, we can’t confirm because it is based on statements. She was in possession of the missing money, checks and money orders,” said Detective Ray Buhala.

Hafely pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor theft charge. She is scheduled back in Girard Municipal Court Jan. 9.

The school district is not saying anything else other than that she’s been put on paid administrative leave and they’re investigating.

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