A former athletic director at a high school in Boca Raton, Fla., is accused of lying about coaching sports she didn’t in order to receive stipend payments, according to a Sun-sentinel.com report.
Cindy Lucia, 60, who worked for the Olympic Heights High School, was arrested Friday on felony charges of official misconduct and grand theft. She’s accused of stealing more than $16,000 from the school.
Lucia — the athletic director and softball coach from 2014-2019 — falsely claimed she coached wrestling, girls swimming and boys tennis, allowing her to receive additional stipends, the newspaper reported. Lucia was paid seven additional coaching payments from the school between 2016-2018 ranging from $1,925 to $3,275, the report said.
Since high school athletic directors submit coaches’ names to the school’s payroll department, Lucia was able to allegedly use her own name for various sports she didn’t coach.
Over the two years, Lucia received $7,625 for girls swimming, $5,200 for wrestling and $3,850 for boys tennis. The final payment was issued in December 2018.
The alleged misconduct was uncovered in 2019 when an administrative assistant became suspicious after discovering Lucia’s name on a supplement list for a sport other than softball, the arrest report said, according to Sun-sentinel.com. The school began an investigation and spoke with the head coaches for swimming, wrestling and tennis teams. All of the coaches said Lucia was never an assistant for their teams, the report said.
Lucia reportedly denied requests from the swimming and wrestling coaches to hire assistants during the time in which Lucia was receiving assistant coaching supplements.
Lucia was released on bond on Friday.