Casey Smitherman, the superintendent of Elwood Community Schools in Elwood, Indiana, was arrested and charged after she allegedly lied about insurance to get medical care for a sick student.
According to reports, on Wednesday, January 9, after Smitherman noticed that a 15-year-old student did not come to school due to a sore throat, she picked him up and took him to a medical care center so he could see a doctor.
Upon arriving at the medical care center, Smitherman signed in the teenager under her son’s name and had a prescription for Amoxicillin filled at CVS under her son’s name for the teen.
When speaking to authorities, Smitherman says that she did not contact the Department of Child Services because she was afraid that the student would be placed in foster care. Additionally, she said in her statement that she’s bought clothes for the teen and has helped clean his house in the past.
Smitherman has since been charged with official misconduct, insurance fraud, insurance application fraud and identity deception.
The Elwood Community School board released the following statement regarding Smitherman’s arrest:
“Dr. Smitherman has tirelessly worked for the best interests of all students in Elwood Community Schools since she was hired. She made an unfortunate mistake, but we understand that it was out of concern for this child’s welfare. We know she understands what she did was wrong, but she continues to have our support.
It is our understanding that the prosecutor has agreed to a diversion program and that will be finalized this afternoon.”
In a deal with the district attorney’s office, Smitherman has agreed to a diversion program, meaning if she has no more arrests for a year, the charges will be dropped.
Despite the criminal charges, Smitherman says the school board and the community have remained very supportive.
Casey Smitherman Statement
Smitherman also released a full statement regarding her crime, which can be found below:
Recently, I was given notice one of our students was not at school. I went to his home to check on him, and he told me that he had not felt well enough to come to school. After making sure he had eaten, I could tell he had some of the symptoms of strep throat. As a parent, I know how serious this illness can be if left untreated, and I took him to an emergency clinic.
After one clinic refused to give the boy necessary treatment, I took him to a different clinic and told them he was my son. I knew he did not have insurance, and I wanted to do all I could to help him get well. I know this action was wrong. In the moment, my only concern was for this child’s health.
I have been charged with three felonies and a misdemeanor, and I have cooperated with authorities every step of the way. I turned myself in to the Elwood police this afternoon and was immediately released on bail. It is my understanding the prosecutor has agreed to a diversion program and that should be finalized yet this afternoon.
The Elwood community has been welcoming since I started this position, and I am so grateful for your support. I am committed to this community and our students, and I regret if this action has undermined your trust in me. From the beginning, my ultimate goal has been to provide the best environment for Elwood students’ growth physically, mentally and academically, and I remain focused on that purpose.
School board president Brent Kane has issued a statement of support below, for which I am also grateful. I am continuing to work with appropriate authorities as necessary and want to be transparent about my work with the Elwood community.
That is all the information available at this time. This article will be updated with new and relevant information should it become available.