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Prosecutor

Roselle middle-school PTO president charged with stealing funds

The former president of the parent-teacher organization for Roselle’s Grace Wilday Junior High School is being accused of stealing thousands of dollars from the organization over the course of several years, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Wednesday.

Denise Daniels, 45, of Drake Avenue in Roselle was charged via summons on Tuesday with a single count of third-degree theft.

A two-month joint investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Prosecutions Unit and the Roselle Police Department resulted in Daniels being identified as a suspect, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Rob Vanderstreet, who is prosecuting the case. The investigation, spearheaded by Prosecutor’s Office Detective Dennis Donovan, revealed that Daniels had been depositing fundraiser proceeds and cash, checks, and money order payments given to the PTO by parents of students into a bank account that other PTO officials believed had been closed, Vanderstreet explained.

Daniels allegedly then would write herself checks by forging the signature of a former PTO treasurer, through which she ultimately amassed more than $11,500 for her own personal use at various times from 2010 through 2014, according to Vanderstreet.

Convictions on third-degree offenses commonly are punishable by three to five years in state prison.

These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.