The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

March 20, 2013

Woman accused of PTO theft begs to stay out of jail

EVERETT — Nearly three dozen counts of forgery and related charges against a western Bedford County woman accused of stealing more than $11,000 from the Chestnut Ridge Parent Teacher Organization will go to the county court for trial.

In waiving her right to a preliminary hearing at Bedford County Central Court in Everett on Wednesday, Leanna Gottshall tearfully said she would spend 100 years on probation but

didn’t want to go to jail because she has children.

State police said Gottshall pocketed funds earned by children, including $26 in cash raised by students selling pencils, and spent the money on personal expenses.

“We’re not talking any deals. Right now I want to see how much she can come up with to make restitution to this organization,” District Attorney William Higgins said.

Gottshall, 33, of Osterburg, was charged a week ago and is free on $75,000 unsecured bail.

Police said she took over as PTO treasurer in June and three months later was cashing checks she had made out to herself. Some of the checks included the forged signature of PTO President Kimberly Mickle.

The final check was written Feb. 15.

Mickle reported that she had started receiving letters from vendors who dealt with the PTO and were trying to collect their money, police said in a criminal complaint.

Mickle said that when she questioned Gottshall about money owed to Scholastic Book Fair, Gottshall said she had just mailed the check because she had misplaced it earlier. When questioned about a letter from a second vendor seeking payment, Gottshall told Mickle she had just sent the check, police said in the complaint.

Mickle said that when she reviewed the financial ledger kept by Gottshall, the figures did not add up. After contacting First Commonwealth Bank in Pleasantville, Mickle told police she learned the check had been made out to Gottshall and had been cashed.

Troopers said Gottshall has admitted taking the money.

Along with $11,075 obtained through personal checks, Gottshall is accused of taking cash that included $60 from a fundraising event, $168.53 from candy bar sales and $26 from the sale of pencils.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • bank1 West End bank robbed

    The West End branch of AmeriServ Financial was robbed Tuesday morning, two days before the branch is scheduled to close.

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • weather_2 Old Man Winter returns to area

    Just when you think we’ve finally escaped the cold temperatures, winter swoops back in to remind us it’s not going away just yet.

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • Home is Where The Tribune-Democrat is Delivered!

    April 15, 2014

  • City seeks support for sewer revamp

    The city is looking for backup from the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority in spreading what they call “true” facts and figures regarding the city’s encompassing sewer revamp.

    April 15, 2014

  • Airport gets lift with $180G grant

    The John Murtha Johnstown–Cambria County Airport needs to replace some basic maintenance equipment: a pickup truck, painting machine, chain saw, weed eater, hand tools and more.
    So, on Tuesday, the airport’s authority agreed to accept Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Bureau of Aviation grant money that already has been tentatively allocated.

    April 15, 2014

  • Cresson asks court to force ex-chief to sign pact

    An agreement reached more than a month ago between Cresson Borough Council and its former police chief still has not been signed, and the borough is asking a judge to intervene.

    April 15, 2014

  • hamer 16 Mom told to seek help for addiction

    A Johnstown woman charged with tossing her 4-month-old baby and with drug-related offenses pleaded guilty and was sentenced in Cambria County court on Tuesday.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • District hopes refinancing will save additional $40G

    Refinancing about $4 million in debt will result in savings more than twice as large as initially expected, Windber Area school board members learned Tuesday night.

    April 15, 2014

  • Elder justice events set

    In an effort to combat elder abuse in area communities, an elder justice seminar will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 24 at the Johnstown Senior Center, 550 Main St., downtown Johnstown. In addition, a free elder abuse clergy training seminar will be held from 8:30 to 10 a.m. April 25 at Moxham Lutheran Church, 500 Park Ave., Johnstown.

    April 15, 2014

  • Local briefs 4/16/2014

    April 15, 2014


Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads