School superintendent charged with fraud after using own insurance to help sick student

School superintendent charged with felonies after using insurance to help sick student

ELWOOD, IN (WISH/CNN) - A school official in Indiana is facing fraud charges after she used her insurance to get medical care for a sick student who didn’t have insurance.

Authorities said Casey Smitherman, 48, told doctors and a pharmacy that the student was her son, but only after he was denied service at a local clinic.

Despite her arrest, Elwood Community Schools is supporting the superintendent saying she made a bad choice but only because she was worried about the sick child.

Smitherman was faced with the choice earlier this month and instead of doing nothing, she chose to help the sick 15-year-old boy she thought had strep throat.

She went to the boy’s home on Jan. 9, picked him up and took him to a local clinic, according to court documents.

After they refused to serve the boy, she took him to the Saint Vincent Clinic.

The two then went to a nearby CVS and filled the prescription under “Smitherman’s son’s name,” according to court documents.

“I knew he did not have insurance, and I wanted to do all I could to help him get well. I know this action was wrong. In the moment, my only concern was for this child’s health,” she told Wish.

Police said the boy tore off the name label and threw out the remnants because he knew "it was wrong."

Smitherman faces three felonies and a misdemeanor all related to fraud.

But she has the support of her school district.

“She made an unfortunate mistake, but we understand that it was out of concern for this child’s welfare,” school board president Brent Kane said in a statement. “We know she understands how what she did was wrong, and she continues to have our full support in continuing in her position.”

Smitherman could have instead chosen to call the Department of Children's Services.

But she said she was worried that would result in the boy being put in foster care.

School officials said Smitherman is entering a diversion program.

Prosecutors will drop the charges against her if she has no more arrests in the coming year.

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