Employees stealing from Ki-Be schools

Employees stealing from Ki-Be schools
BENTON CITY, Wash. - More claims of theft in the Ki-Be school district. Over the summer it was equipment. Now it's the kid's lunch money.

The small town of Benton City is facing a big scandal.
Two complaints of theft by former Kiona-Benton School District employees have been filed.

Amanda Malanitch has a child who goes to Ki-Be elementary. She said, "That's just horrible. I couldn't imagine anybody stealing from children."

She was shocked to hear of yet another case of theft after a maintenance supervisor was charged with stealing equipment.

She continued, "There have been a lot of crimes involving schools, teachers and all sorts of things. Are they taking the steps to make sure these people are who they say they are?"

A former lunch lady is charged with helping herself to money in the register. Sarah Haywood is suspected of taking close to $900. Court documents say she had fallen on hard times and promised to repay the money. To get all sides, Action News tried to track down Haywood but came up empty.

We did find Mark Noyes.

In June, he was accused of stealing district equipment and selling it on eBay. Noyes is charged with trafficking stolen property.

We did speak with Mark Noyes at his home but he's been directed by his attorney not to speak to any one about the case but he did thank us for the opportunity to tell his side of the story.

We also sent emails to Ki-Be district officials and board members.
We also made numerous calls looking for answers on what their plans are to stop these crimes in the future.

We didn't hear back from anyone so we headed to the district office, hoping to get someone to answer my questions. Again, we came up empty.

It wasn't until later in the day that we heard from a board member, assuring us that we will get a reply, just not today.

Amanda said, "I would just like to see them maybe monitor things a little bit better."

The local taxpayers are all hoping for the same thing.

Action News will continue to track this story and follow up with district officials.