Ex-PTA president accused of stealing funds pleads guilty

Merridy Senger, 30, is accused of stealing more than $5,000 from the Hawthorne PTA fund

EVERETT — The former Hawthorne PTA president accused of stealing from the group’s funds pleaded guilty in Snohomish County Superior Court on Tuesday.

Merridy Senger, 30, was charged with first-degree theft, identity theft, three counts of second-degree identity theft and forgery after thousands of dollars went missing from the Hawthorne Elementary PTA account.

Senger failed to appear for a scheduled plea hearing Monday, her fourth missed court appearance. A judge ordered a $15,000 bench warrant be issued had she failed to appear Tuesday.

Previously, a Snohomish County Superior Court judge ordered a $15,000 bench warrant for Senger’s arrest in July after she failed to appear in court for the third time.

Her public defender, Eli Jacobsen, said she was at a funeral.

In spring 2017, a $5,000 PTA check bounced. When other members asked Senger if they could to see the books, she gave them a binder and a Ziploc bag full of receipts. Shortly after, colleagues recognized bogus charges, and Senger resigned.

Everett police later found more than $15,000 missing from the PTA’s account.

Charging papers allege she made out 27 checks to her then-fiance. The memos said they were for things like ice cream, T-shirts, tables and field days. Of those, 15 were identified by police as being fraudulent, totaling $5,659.31. Eleven of the checks, or some $4,000, couldn’t conclusively be proven illegitimate. Security footage shows Senger depositing the checks at a U.S. Bank branch.

Additionally, the PTA required two signatures on checks. One member told a detective his name was forged on 22 checks.

Previously, Senger failed to appear for two other court dates in February and April.

Court records indicate she was recently evicted from her Monroe home and may be homeless.

Joey Thompson: 425-339-3449; jthompson@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @byjoeythompson.

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