Former Councilwoman pleads guilty to stealing from Boca Raton High

Greenacres councilwoman Lisa Rivera arrested
Former Councilwoman pleads guilty to stealing from Boca Raton High
Lisa Rivera, who served formerly as Boca Raton High School treasurer, struck a plea deal and pleaded guilty to stealing more than $23,000 from the school. Rivera, who was also a Greenacres councilwoman, was sentenced to six months in jail term on Tuesday.

Rivera was suspended as councilwoman by Governor Rick Scott following her arrest last June.

She pleaded guilty to a felony grand theft charge as well as a misdemeanor petit theft count. She must surrender to begin her sentence on February 8, which may be served under house arrest. Once time is served, Rivera will be on probation for five years.

Greenacres Councilwoman Arrested, charged with theft as treasurer of Boca Raton High

Under terms approved by Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Glenn Kelley, if Rivera completes her sentence successfully, she will not have a felony conviction on her record. Her deal also includes never again pursuing employment with the school system.

Rivera will be permitted to attend her daughter’s graduation from high school, if there are no sentence violations.

Below is our original story regarding Rivera’s arrest.

Greenacres Councilwoman Arrested, charged with theft as treasurer of Boca Raton High

According to a Palm Beach County School District police report, Lisa Rivera, Greenacres Councilwoman, is accused of stealing thousands of dollars while employed as treasurer of Boca Raton High School.

Rivera was arrested and charged Monday with grand theft, official misconduct and organized scheme to defraud, the police report states.

School District Auditor Alonzo Peterson conducted a four-day internal funds audit at the school in August 2015 that examined bank deposits prepared and submitted by Rivera as treasurer, according to the report. Peterson noticed a discrepancy involving checks that were not documented on a so-called “Monies Collected Report,” the report states.

In his written statement, Peterson documented a deposit appeared to be short $654 in cash from the money-collection report. The school district police report describes how an investigation ensued that involved scrutinizing several checks.

“THIS INVESTIGATION DETERMINED ADDITIONAL CHECKS RECEIVED WERE NOT PROPERLY DOCUMENTED AND SUBSEQUENTLY [WERE] USED TO REPLACE CASH STOLEN FROM CERTAIN DEPOSITS,” THE REPORT SAID.

On Oct. 2, 2015, a former worker with the school district’s Inspector General’s Office went to conduct a surprise count of money in a safe at the school, the police report said. The inspection revealed shredded collected-money reports in the trash in Rivera’s office, the report said.

Just three days later, Rivera notified Principal Geoff McKee via email that she was resigning, the report states.

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