Former Board of Education member pleads guilty to fraud charges

Former Board of Education member pleads guilty to fraud charges

UNION COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A former member of both the Union County Board of Education and NC State Board of Education plead guilty Friday to local and state misdemeanor fraud charges.

Marcella Ramirez Savage, 42, of Waxhaw, was charged with two counts of swearing falsely to official reports, two counts of obtaining repairs and supplies for private a vehicle, and one count of enforcement of local government finance.

Savage's attorney said his client has a lot of shame and wanted to take responsibility for her actions. Savage faced 45 days in jail but since she plead guilty to the local and state charges she received 12 months probation and must re-pay $1223.97.

According to officials, that was the amount of money she received from falsified expense reports between May 10, 2013, through September 18, 2014.

The state said Savage was "double dipping." The state said she was filing  travel and event reimbursements for both the Union County Board of Education and the NC State Board of Education.

She resigned from the State board in 2014, but remained with the Union County board until early 2015.

After her hearing in district court in Monroe, Union County schools Superintendent Dr. Mary Ellis told WBTV "it's a sad day" for UCPS. Union County Board Chairman John Collins, who was also at the hearing, said he is pleased with the outcome and hopes this doesn't happen again.

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