Duval County

DCPS librarian arrested for stealing almost $1,500 from book fair, report says

Jacksonville, Fla. — A Duval County Public Schools employee has been arrested.

Cedar Hills Elementary School librarian Pamela Drinkwater is facing charges of grand theft, DCPS said.

An arrest report said Drinkwater stole $1454.07 from a Scholastic Book Fair at the school in October 2018.

The report said the book fair drew in $2698.76 in cash sales, but Drinkwater deposited 1514.69 to Scholastic at the end of the event. Over the 7 months following the book fair, Drinkwater emailed back and forth with Scholastic regarding the outstanding balance owed, but never made any indication that the money was missing or stolen.

In July 2019, Scholastic contacted Cedar Hills Elementary’s principal, Marva Mckinney, about the money owed. After Scholastic reached out to the principal, Drinkwater told her the money was stolen. This was the first mention Drinkwater made of the money being stolen.

The school district forwarded the investigation to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. When investigators talked to Drinkwater, they said she stepped out to call and attorney and came back in on the phone, declining to talk.

The arrest report said Drinkwater was the only person in control of the money collected from the book fair outside of Scholastic collecting credit card transactions. The report also said Drinkwater offered to pay the money back even though she claims it was stolen, but has not paid the money.

Drinkwater worked for DCPS for more than a decade. She is expected to be in court Thursday, DCPS said.

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