Lyn Mundey, outgoing Prince George’s County Public Schools Board of Education member, was indicted Tuesday for obtaining reduced-price school lunches illegally for her daughter. County Executive Rushern Baker III appointed Mundey to the board in 2013 to fill a vacant position after Carletta Fellows resigned. Mundey told The Sentinel she was resigning to pursue a […]
Lyn Mundey, outgoing Prince George’s County Public Schools Board of Education member, was indicted Tuesday for obtaining reduced-price school lunches illegally for her daughter.
County Executive Rushern Baker III appointed Mundey to the board in 2013 to fill a vacant position after Carletta Fellows resigned. Mundey told The Sentinel she was resigning to pursue a doctorate degree. Her resignation is effective Aug. 24.
Sherrie Johnson, a spokesperson for PGCPS, said there is no plan to change the Aug. 24 resignation date. The board does not have the authority to move it, she said.
Scott Peterson, a spokesperson for the county executive, said the office is aware of the allegations and indictment.
“The county executive is deeply disappointed with the news of indictments of GAO employees with children in the Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS), and specifically, Board of Education Member Lyn Mundey,” Peterson said. “Families who need and count on the federal school lunch program depend on that assistance to help nourish their children. These allegations of improper use of this critical and much needed federal program are disheartening and concerning.”
Erica Berry, the executive direct for the board, said the board is also aware of the allegations and indictment and will continue cooperating.
“The Prince George’s County Board of Education was just made aware of (Tuesday’s) indictment of School Board Member Lyn Mundey and the Board will fully cooperate with the legal process,” she said in a statement.
Mundey was one of five employees from the Government of Accountability Office (GAO) indicted by the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney, Angela Alsobrooks, in a “school lunch theft scheme.”
“The actions of these individuals have threatened the integrity of a program meant to help those in need,” Alsobrooks said. “There is no excuse for stealing funds intended to go to children whose parents cannot afford the school lunches. Their actions are made even worse by the fact that some of them claimed to have not just low income, but no income at all, even though they were working full-time jobs at the GAO.”
In 2014 and 2015, the GAO complied information from studies from 2012 to 2014 and participated in testimonies to the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. The testimony was compiled from a review of “federal school-meals program policies, interviewed program officials, and randomly selected a non-generalizable sample that included 25 approved applications from civilian federal employee households out of 7.7 million total approved applications in 25 of 1,520 school districts in the Dallas, Texas, and Washington, D.C., regions,” according to the testimony.
The study took data from federal worker salaries from the years 2010 to 2011 and interviewed the 48 households originally included in the study. It looked at both households that applied to the program and those “directly certified into the school-meals programs without submitting an application due to the household’s participation in SNAP or other assistance programs.” The 2015 testimony included the smaller sample size of 25 households and found 11 of the applications were not in fact eligible for free and reduced lunch based on income or false statements about categorical eligibility.
The GAO found multiple employees in Prince George’s County applied despite ineligibility, including Barbara Rowley, Jamilah Reid, Tracy Williams, Charlene Savoy and Mundey. Each party received lunches for their children, valued at $2.65 per lunch.
“These indictments send a clear message that stealing federal funds intended for the poor, or for anyone else, will simply not be tolerated,” GAO Inspector General Adam Trzeciak said. “While the vast majority of GAO employees play by the rules, those that do not will be held accountable. Today’s actions will go a long way toward protecting the future integrity of the program.”
The total amount in reduce lunches received was $11,432.