A member of the Jamestown Public Schools Board of Education issued her resignation Friday after being arraigned on felony charges.
Barbara M. Piazza, 42 of Jamestown, was charged Friday with third-degree grand larceny after a month-long investigation by the Jamestown Police Department revealed she allegedly took more than $19,000 in cash between 2007 and 2011 while employed with Jamestown Area Medical Associates.
Capt. Robert Samuelson of the Jamestown Police Department said Piazza, was in a position to receive payments, which were then to be submitted to JAMA's finance department. Piazza, however, is alleged to have whittled amounts away.
School district officials confirmed Piazza's resignation from the board late Friday afternoon.
"Late this afternoon, the president of the Board of Education received Mrs. Piazza's verbal resignation from the board effective immediately," a statement issued from the school district said.
School board president Christine Schnars agreed that the resignation was in the best interest of the district.
"Her decision to resign was appropriate, in light of the allegation, to avoid any unnecessary distractions or disruptions of the continuing and important work of the Board of Education," said Mrs. Schnars said.
The investigation began when JAMA officials contacted police Nov. 8 after discovering the discrepancy. An audit was then done to trace the missing funds.
Piazza turned herself into the Jamestown police Friday after a warrant had been issued for her arrest. She was arraigned in Jamestown City Court and was released on $5,000 bail. She could face up to seven years in jail.
Piazza began serving on the Jamestown Public School board in July 2010 and was in her first three-year term.
"It is important to emphasize that neither the police investigation, which led to Mrs. Piazza's arrest, nor the specific charge had any connection with any Board of Education or district operation," JPS Superintendent Daniel Kathman said.
JAMA officials declined comment Friday.