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Brick Woman Charged With Stealing $86K from School Organization

Wendy Griggs, 44, turned herself in Friday

A Brick woman has been charged with stealing more than $86,000 from a nonprofit organization associated with the following a four month long police investigation.

Wendy Griggs, 44, a Brookfield Drive resident, turned herself in to Brick Police Detective Michael Bevacqua Friday morning after learning a warrant was out for her arrest, according to Brick Police Capt. John Rein.

Rein said Bevacqua led an investigation into thefts from the Brick Community Primary Learning Center Home and School Council, where Griggs served as president from Aug. 2007 through Aug. 2011 and had control of organization funds. The investigation was initiated after a police report was filed on August 30, 2011 by new executive board members who determined funds were missing after conducting an informal audit, Rein said.

Griggs is suspected of using funds from the organization, as well as an ATM card linked to an organization account, for personal use, including car payments and utility bills. She was charged with one count each of theft and computer theft.

Griggs' bail was set by Municipal Court Judge Michael R. Bateman at $25,000 with an option to post a 10 percent bond. Griggs was processed on the charges and released after posting bond.

Rein said the investigation is continuing, and Bevacqua is still combing through financial records from the organization.

bayway mike January 06, 2012 at 11:11 PM
What a P.O.S.!!
BW January 06, 2012 at 11:44 PM
I bet her kids must be real proud of her.
Ken January 07, 2012 at 12:08 AM
A sign of the times, scum will crawl out of every corner and steal from anybody these days.
Jerry Belle January 07, 2012 at 12:44 AM
Why can't we see a photo of the thief? Shouldn't we all know what she looks like so we can hold onto our wallets and pocketbooks as she passes us on the streets around Brick? Nothing lower than a volunteer who steals from kids and uses money meant for them (remember Gary Hulse of Brick National LL anyone?) - disgusting!
Jerry Belle January 07, 2012 at 12:54 AM
Wendy Griggs of Brookfield Drive, Brick was also in charge of the "Crop for Avery" scrapbooking fundraiser to assist Avery Lubrecht, a 4-year-old Brick resident who was diagnosed with brain cancer and held back in July at the Pioneer Fire Company....I wonder how much of the donated funds actually made it to Avery? (link) http://bulletin.gmnews.com/news/2008-06-12/bulletin_board/020.html
Karen Herzig January 07, 2012 at 01:09 AM
I don't believe this story at all! Wendy Griggs is one of the nicest people I have ever met and I know that she did not do this! Don't judge her until all the facts are in! She is hardworking, kind and a wonderful wife and mother! You are throwing this person to the wolves and it is not right! I don't believe it at all, and once the facts are in she will be innocent! I know I will be praying for this family and hope all of you will too! Prayers, hugs and positive energy are going out to Wendy and her family! The truth will come out and she will be found innocent! God Bless you all!
Melissa Elsner January 07, 2012 at 02:18 AM
It's amazing how people automatically assume a person is guilty. Hello, fellow Americans, it's called innocent until proven guilty! Let's get some facts first and then choose whether to stone her.
dhhex January 07, 2012 at 05:04 AM
I don't know this person, but I have to agree with the last person that posted. It is horroble to be accused of something when you are innocent. And so far we do not know for sure and have to let the police do their job. Don't be hateful and judgemental. Be wise.
thomas January 07, 2012 at 01:20 PM
The woman turned herself in??? SHE must know she did something wrong
Jpip January 07, 2012 at 01:23 PM
She turned herself in after learning she had a warrant. That alone doesn't imply guilt
John Forsyth January 07, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Hello People, she turned herself in! What article are you reading?
lucille sheridan January 07, 2012 at 03:08 PM
I want to know how could she have been president from 2007 to 2011 when the PLC is a one (two at most) year school? Did she had a child in every year? What are the by-laws of the Home & School Council? Meaning, you don't have to have a child in that school and still serve on the board? All questions that only a current or rather active member of the H&S Council could answer. @ Miss Homewood, please don't judge these "PTA" women. I was one for many, many years. Everything from a committee member to president. I don't live in a big house and I drove a mini-van for 13 years until the thng fell apart. As to why she was only charged with one count each, someone with a law degree would have to answer that.
lucille sheridan January 07, 2012 at 03:10 PM
oh, and one more comment: why wasn't the informal audit done every year? And if it was, by whom and why wasn't this missing money discussed prior. I am not saying Ms. Griggs is innocent nor guilty. Just questions that need to be asked and answered.
Reality January 07, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Lucille - I was thinking the exact same thing re the audit. You are correct that the PLC is usually a one-year school (kindergarten only). But, Ms. Griggs may have children with special needs (seems like that's the "norm" these days in Brick). Therefore Ms. Griggs conceivably may have had a child in the school for three years at a time, rather than the usual one year. Also the PLC has both a Principal and Assistant Principal for this small school. The Principal or AVP must give pre-approval for all fundraising at the PLC. Wonder why they never noticed such long-term, enormous abuse? Didn't they receive copies of the budgets and audits? The budget should have been distributed at each meeting and the audit at the end-of-year meeting. According to this article, it was the new set of volunteers who are now H&S board members, who noticed the theft.
Mattie January 07, 2012 at 06:39 PM
It's pretty easy to look up how (personal) bills and car payments were made and which ATM/Debit card was used.... if it wasn't her PERSONAL card to use for PERSONAL bills and payments, then she STOLE MONEY. Period. $86,000 is more than a few car payments or mortgage payments. That's some serious money. How many people are caught with a 1/4 ounce of pot and they get thrown in jail on $150,000 bail -- NO ten percent down. She is getting off lightly, too.
Art Sholty January 07, 2012 at 09:27 PM
Karen, they can't wait to knock someone. This is a bad story but all the NEGATIVES come out of the woodwork at times like this. If this person is found guilty then she deserves to be sentenced but until such time she is presuned innocent. We have a mayor going through this at this time. I'm with you Karen but wait till thety read this then the S--T hits the fan. Bring it on NEGATIVES. WE know you are out there..
MAJ January 08, 2012 at 08:03 AM
OMG! No Child Left behind!? Really!!?? - Let's give an Abbott district MILLIONS of dollars to rebuild ALL of their schools (Long Branch - Neptune) while the schools in Brick are left to ROT and no money to fix the essentials. Black mold in high school (I will say allegedly) - Bleachers that are falling down. Sub-Par every and anything. Long Branch - They have pottery kilns (Commercial Grade) - Neptune - swimming pools, TV Studios and more. I mean really - No Child Left Behind - What a joke. Mis-Management gone wild again!!
MAJ January 08, 2012 at 08:15 AM
Sorry for last post - was left in the buffer... On to this issue. 1) I know the Griggs - No fancy cars, no big houses, yes, 4 kids. 2) Innocent until proven guilty - only for some or when the finger is pointed at them! 3) Thank you ALL volunteers who put out their time and money. 4) I know for a FACT basic auditing was NOT performed the years my kids where there and the books were ALWAYS a mess. So let's pin it all on one person! Nice!! 5) There was a 4 month investigation - She turned herself in based on information provided by the police department and a time line to do so. Again, does NOT imply guilt. AT ALL. 6) The discovery process has completed. It's important to understand the process and appreciate how it works. The BURDEN of Proof is on the prosecution. Not the defendant. If there is ANY REASONABLE DOUBT the case should be dismissed. The simple fact that no annual audits were done raises a reasonable doubt. 7) 2007 - 2011 - Really? So, one new board member comes in - decides an audit should be completed and one person is responsible? If she was the President then WHO was the Treasurer and how could this happen? The Treasurer is responsible for the books - NOT the President. If the previous Board did not audit isn't there some level of negligence? An audit should be completed during both outgoing and incoming board members (by different people) to insure accuracy. IF you don't do anything to help then you have NOT earned the right to criticize!
MAJ January 08, 2012 at 08:26 AM
One more thing -- This goes to show you WHY are society is breaking down and less & less people will volunteer. As a 12 year volunteer Fire Fighter in Neptune as well as having volunteered / helped in numerous functions here in Brick I can tell you one thing. Honor, Trust & Respect have Hit an all time Low! We are a sinking society and if EACH & EVERY ONE OF US do not stand up and be counted and help out. It will only get worse! Politicians can abuse there positions at all corners and ignore US, the little guys in the process. But let one little guy be accused of something and MANY/MOST of you have already hung and buried this poor women. Regardless of outcome - you have passed judgement before you know 10% of the true details. Zero of the evidence. Zero of the full set of circumstances surrounding the PLC PTO and the dysfunctional state of MANY organizations such as these. People are put in charge of non-profit organizations all the time an these people have little or no knowledge of their true legal responsibilities. So who is failing who?? Requirements people. A simple needed fact. Understanding and guidance at minimum. If they do not have the knowledge then there should be information available with case examples to guide them. This should be a standard by-law and responsibility of ANY organization. You will NEVER find the fully qualified people to run these positions. They are just placed there. Look at Mr. Obama - Case closed!! Couldn't resist.
Karen January 08, 2012 at 08:27 PM
@ dawn .. You have a lot of nerve saying that about PTA women... I moved here 5 years ago and when I joined the PTA and I'm just a member and never found anyone on the Emma havens PTA to be like this and if I'm not mistaken you also have children in Emma.. So maybe you should check yourself I think you have some deeper issues.. No one cares what type of car you have or where you live. We are there for the kids not to show off our cars or houses... How do rumors get started???
J Hall January 21, 2012 at 10:51 PM
Mrs. Griggs was one of my English teachers freshman year an was a wonderful woman that loved to teach and always talked about her kids! I hOpe there is a mistake being made and whoever else was involved needs to step foward with whatever integrity they have left.
Alice Infranco January 24, 2012 at 01:49 AM
She "turned herself in" means that she came forward to the police when she learned there was a warrant out for her arrest. "Jpip" has a good point; the article does not imply anywhere that she confessed to any thefts or is in fact guilty of them. The article paints a horrible picture, but remember: the police detectives are still investigating the "books". The only judgemnet I can post on a message board such as this is that the posts in hear are silly and hypercritical (overly judgemental, without having any facts), not to mention uninformed and a tad bit illiterate...
Alice Infranco January 24, 2012 at 01:51 AM
Well-Said. Right On!!!!!
lydia Guzman October 29, 2012 at 11:35 PM
Its a witch hunt..I know Wendy well and has a heart so pure she wouldn't do dirt like that. She will have hee day in court. Ill pray for u girly Love ya
WMS826 January 15, 2013 at 11:02 PM
Dawn Homewood, you should be ashamed of your comments, they still cut deep as you well know. What happened with this case, did she plead guilty yet. Just because she turned herself in does not mean a thing. She has four kids, and some are special needs. Where would she run to. Was anyone else connected to this case such as her husband or other PTA board members I would like to know as well.
NM January 15, 2013 at 11:05 PM
thank u melissa. tho i can not say for sure she is guilty or innocent i do believe she should have her chance at a defense. further, no one here has posted that they know her PERSONALLY .. so to "personally" attack her is just as morally wrong as the act of theft itself.
NM January 15, 2013 at 11:07 PM
the post went from bashing Antonacci to bashing Griggs. im confused now lol
WMS826 January 16, 2013 at 02:28 AM
perhaps take a night school course in reading or get help help for your learning disability.

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