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
  • Halfway house inmates can ease back into society

    Prison life can be a time warp.
    When inmates are locked away – for months, years, decades – society moves forward: Technology evolves, major events occur, pop culture changes. From a personal perspective, families and friends live their lives: weddings, funerals, graduations, births, retirements. All the while, criminals bide their time, existing in a regimented world of cement walls and metal bars.
    Almost all of them eventually rejoin society, though.

    April 19, 2014

  • Crime board took aim at house

    Johnstown’s unemployment rate is around 8 percent.
    One-third of the city’s population lives in poverty.
    Burglaries and assaults significantly increased between 2010 and 2012. There is a thriving illegal trade in heroin and prescription drugs.
    Given those conditions, it can be challenging for Johnstown Community Corrections Center residents to find jobs when living in the facility or to avoid falling back into a criminal lifestyle upon their release.

    April 19, 2014

  • Homicides linked to center

    Three homicides that took place in Johnstown last year involved either a suspect or victim who previously resided in the Community Corrections Center.
    Police Chief Craig Foust confirmed the name of one victim, who spent almost two months in the facility on Washington Street during 2007, a time period verified by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.

    April 19, 2014

  • bachota Volunteers helping to spruce up community

    Walls and ceilings inside the Cambria County Library look clean and bright with fresh new coats of paint on them.
    The work was recently done by inmates from the Johnstown Community Corrections Center.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • alanna Hartzok targets income disparity

    Alanna Hartzok described herself as being a conservative progressive.
    The Franklin County resident said she is in favor of conserving environmental resources, education opportunities, Social Security and Medicare, while wanting to progressively address wealth inequality, health care and taxation.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Schools rise to leadership challenge

    Forest Hills and Cambria Heights high school students put the spirit of healthy competition toward a good cause and picked up some lessons in leadership along the way.

    April 19, 2014

  • KATEY LADIKA Student’s photos win awards

    A Forest Hills High School junior has captured several awards in a high school arts and writing contest that has identified greats such as Truman Capote and Andy Warhol.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jim Siehl JIM SIEHL | Music to my ears

    Seldom has $15 produced such a high level of entertainment as it did a few weeks ago when I found myself in the second row just left of center keeping back the tears once again during my third live performance of “Les Miserables.”

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Michele Bender Bye, bye, Easter birdies

    Animals fascinated my mom. Riding the train between Johnstown and Philly, she saw horses, pigs, sheep, cows … a Mattel See ’n Say of farm critters.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bill Eggert Columnist Photo Travelogue of terror features Johnstown area

    A historic week will surround the venerable Silver Drive-In come the beginning of May.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos


Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads