Two former officials of Carrollton Exempted Village Schools, David Quattrochi, the former Superintendent, and Michael Pozderac, a former school board member, have been sentenced to 30 days in jail each after entering guilty pleas on charges related to the embezzlement of funds from the school district.
The sentencing took place at Carroll County Common Pleas Court amid a backdrop of controversy surrounding the state prosecutor’s decision not to seek prison time despite the charges being felony-level offenses.
The case revolves around an alleged embezzlement scheme involving school pandemic funding. The defendants reportedly established shell companies to funnel money from the school district with the purported intention of purchasing air purifiers.
Jackie Pozderac, a former art teacher in the district and the wife of Michael Pozderac, was also implicated in the scandal. However, she received a probationary sentence following her conviction on a misdemeanor charge. The prosecutor’s leniency in her case raised questions and added to the public’s demand for strict accountability.
The incident came to light when an internal investigation conducted by Carrollton Exempted Village Schools authorities exposed financial discrepancies, leading to a deeper probe by investigators.
The authorities suspected that the defendants used their positions to orchestrate the fraudulent diversion of funds to the shell companies they controlled.
Gus Nicholas, the fourth defendant in the case who was not a school official, did not accept a plea deal and is set to face trial in September.
The Carroll County Common Pleas judge defended the decision, stating that various factors were considered before arriving at the 30-day jail term for the former school superintendent and former board member. These factors include their previous clean records, cooperation during the investigation, and the state prosecutor’s recommendation for non-prison sentences.
Pozderac’s wife Jackie got probation on a misdemeanor conviction