New York - An Indiana school superintendent is facing three felony charges after she stepped in to help a sick student by letting him use her health insurance.
Casey Smitherman, who works for Elwood Community Schools in Elwood, Indiana, went to the home of a 15-year-old student January 9 after she was told that the pupil did not come to school that day, according to court documents obtained by FOX59.
Smitherman, 48, said in a statement that during her visit, she realized he was exhibiting symptoms of strep throat, and so she 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," she said. "I knew he did not have insurance, and I wanted to do all I could to help get him well. I know this action was wrong. In the moment, my only concern was for this child's health."
The documents say Smitherman filled a prescription for Amoxicillin under her son's name at a local CVS, and gave the medicine to the boy, who subsequently ripped the label off the bottle since he knew "it was wrong" to possess medicine under a different person's name.
The total claim for the medical visit was 233 dollars.
Police reportedly followed up with the teen's guardian January 16 after receiving a tip, and Smitherman said she turned herself in and was immediately released on bail.
Online records show she was charged with insurance fraud, identity deception, official misconduct and insurance application fraud.
Smitherman avoided calling the Department of Child Services because she did not want the boy to wind up in foster care, according to the documents, though police eventually contacted them to give a heads up that he might need some financial help.
The educator said the prosecutor has agreed to a diversion program, which would allow her case to be dismissed as long as she avoids any arrests in the coming year.
Elwood School Board President Brent Kane issued a statement in support of his employee, and said that while Smitherman made an "unfortunate mistake," she had good intentions.
She has been with the district since July, and before that, was a principal at Brown Elementary School in Brownsburg for seven years, according to her LinkedIn profile.
"I understand it was her desire to help a young man that was in bad shape but probably not the best example to set for young people to assume other identities and make false statements," Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings told FOX59. "I think there have to be some consequences, but they shouldn't be career-jeopardizing.