An Indiana school superintendent has resigned after she was arrested on felony insurance fraud charges for allegedly using her health insurance to take a sick student to the doctor and paid for his care with her son’s insurance.
Casey Smitherman tendered her resignation to the Elwood School Board on Friday after having been charged last month for the incident, adding that she did not want to bring any more negative attention to the school. Smitherman said she could not lead the effectively lead the district because “the board, community, teachers and students need to be in alignment.”
“Unfortunately, my recent lapse in judgment has brought negative attention to the community and myself. I am very embarrassed for that, and I apologize to the board, the community and the teachers and students of Elwood Community Schools,” Smitherman said in a statement obtained by the Indianapolis Star. “I sincerely hope this single lapse in judgment does not tarnish all of the good work I’ve done for students over the span of my career.”
Smitherman was arrested on January 23rd after telling police that she brought a 15-year-old student to the doctor to under her son’s name when she noticed that he had not shown up for school, The Huffington Post reports.
She took the student, who had a sore throat, to a medical facility on January 9th where she had the student examined by using her son’s insurance, The Washington Post reports. She later drove the student to the pharmacy where, using her son’s insurance again, she had an antibiotics prescription filled for the student.
According to court documents, her insurance, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, covered the costs of the treatment, which totaled $233.
Smitherman told authorities she had previously helped the student by providing him clothes and assisting him with cleaning his house.
“I knew he did not have insurance, and I wanted to do all I could to help him get well,” Smitherman said in a statement published by Fox 59 News. “I know this action was wrong. In the moment, my only concern was for this child’s health.”
Expressing regret for her actions, she said told a local television station, “I would love to go back to that moment and redo it. In that moment, I just was really worried. I knew he had strep, I’m a mom, and I knew how dangerous that was for him. And I was worried, and I wanted to get him treatment.”
An Indiana superintendent turned herself in today for insurance fraud. An attorney for Elwood Community Schools Superintendent Casey Smitherman says she used her insurance to help help a sick student get treatment. pic.twitter.com/SnMG2vkNQN
— Matthew McClellan (@mcclellantv) January 23, 2019
According to Fox 59 News, the school district had originally stood by Smitherman, saying in a statement, “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.”
But on Friday, the school board accepted Smitherman’s resignation with what appeared to be a unanimous vote.
Smitherman has been put on a diversion program, meaning that as long as she is not charged in any other incident, the charges will be dropped against her.