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Former Farmington Municipal Schools finance secretary receives 4 years in prison

Tracy Padgett guilty of embezzling more than $62k from district
Tracy Padgett, 55, of Farmington is a former Farmington Municipal Schools employee who was sentenced to four years in prison for embezzlement.

A former Farmington Municipal Schools finance secretary was sentenced to four years in the Department of Corrections after a jury found her guilty of embezzling $62,764.40 from the district.

Tracy Padgett, 55, of Farmington, was found guilty Oct. 4, 2023, of a single charge of second-degree felony embezzlement over $20,000.

The charge was in connection to Padgett’s actions while employed from August 2018 to April 2021 as the finance secretary at Farmington High School.

It was Padgett’s job to receive money “from school clubs and dances.” Then she would provide a “signed receipt to the representative of the club for which she received the money for and was responsible for depositing the money into the bank,” according to the arrest affidavit.

Padgett also was “supposed to keep a ledger of the funds received/deposited and provide those to” Farmington Municipal Schools Chief Financial Officer Bobbi Newland, the affidavit states.

However, Human Resources Director Chris Pash alerted the Farmington Police Department, saying Padgett “was suspected of stealing money,” because “there was money missing from several accounts that Padgett was solely responsible for,” the affidavit states.

Pash further told law enforcement that Padgett was not filling out the ledger, nor was she filing a “balance report,” and the woman blamed her forgetfulness on a car crash that had happened three to four years ago, court records state.

When Farmington Police investigated, they learned from Padgett “there was not a camera and she was the only one who counted money.” She also stated that several other “people had access to the vault,” the affidavit states.

In the affidavit Farmington Police stated that the “investigation consisted of reconciling documentation provided by teachers and/or club leaders, records kept by Padgett, computer generated receipts and bank records.”

Through this they learned they had taken $62,764.40 and reportedly spent it at Northern Edge Casino, because the “money she was spending at the casino well exceeded the amount of money she was making from her job in a month’s time,” the affidavit states.

During the March 26 sentencing hearing in the 11th Judicial District Court, Judge Daylene Marsh said she was a “little disturbed” that Padgett “never once mentioned the children that worked for the money for the clubs,” and she added there was “no accountability here.”

Defense attorney Jennifer Yoder said Padgett had “no criminal history” and was not a “danger.”

The prosecution asked that Padgett receive a nine-year sentence with five years suspended and that she be sent to prison for four years followed by five years of supervised probation.

It was pointed out that the money taken was “stolen from children,” and Padgett had not paid any restitution to date, according to Assistant District Attorney Brian Decker.

The judge followed the district attorney’s recommendation, and Padgett was transferred on May 1 to the Department of Corrections.