A Johnson County grand jury indicted VanHoose, 57, of Tutor Key, on Nov. 16, charging her with issuing bimonthly checks totaling over $12,000 to her son while he was in the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center on drug offenses. The checks issued to her son were school system checks and varied in range between $450 and $515 between the time he was first jailed in December 2002 and released after March 2004.
VanHoose, who worked 33 years for the Johnson County school district, retired as district treasurer in August 2005 but returned to work as finance director until she was let go last March. An internal investigation into the district's payroll began after the death of former superintendent Orville Hamilton in October 2005. His replacement, Steve Trimble, took office Jan. 1. 2006, and the investigation until VanHoose's indictment last November.
Investigators have said that VanHoose was authorized as the district's finance officer to issue school system checks.
VanHoose was in Johnson Circuit Court Wednesday for two pretrial conferences in the case, with a combined total of 26 charges of complicity to theft charges. Each charge is a Class D felony, each punishable by up to five years in prison and $10,000 fine.