The former Middletown High School teacher had served as the union's treasurer from 2009 to 2013.
A former Middletown High School math teacher was sentenced today by the New Castle County Superior Court for stealing over $45,000 from the Appoquinimink Education Association (AEA).
Carol R. Morris, 64, of Blackbird Landing Road in Townsend, turned herself in to Delaware State Police last December to face criminal charges including theft, forgery, and falsifying bank statements.
According to the court’s clerk’s office, Morris was sentenced to two years of probation. Her sentence was reduced from jail time because it was her first offense. Morris will also have to pay restitution for an amount that will be determined by the judge in the case and the attorney general at a later date. In addition, she will have to serve 20 hours of community service per week, and never again hold a position in an organization.
Morris, a retired teacher, served as the treasurer of the district teachers’ union from 2009 to 2013. According to then-union president David Wright, Morris made ATM withdrawals and used the organization’s credit card to make personal purchases.
“She forged a check for $8,000 using my name,” said Wright. “She used money for Zappos, the shoe store. And she bought from OshKosh B'gosh. She also paid the Verizon bill for her house, she even bought heating oil.”
The thefts shocked the organization, according to Wright. Morris had been known by many people in the school district for hosting parties and fundraisers at her house, he said.
“This is a woman who had won a malpractice lawsuit for $5 million back in 2001. It boggles the mind why she would do this,” Wright said.
The sentencing today helps bring closure to the teachers union and the people involved, added Wright.
The current president of the 640-member teachers' union, Vickie Caprinolo, attended the sentencing hearing and said that it's time for the organization to move on.
"She won't be able to do this to anyone else," said Caprinolo. "How can someone with such a high level of trust do this to her own colleagues? She was a member too. It stings."
According to the clerk’s office, if Morris were to violate the terms of her probation, she will face jail time.