Ex-Auburn Elementary School Parent Teacher Club president facing embezzlement charge

Club draws law-enforcement attention to alleged theft
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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AUBURN CA - The former president of the Auburn Elementary Parent Teacher Club has been charged with embezzling funds from the non-profit organization. Traci Lynn Bucher, 37, is alleged to have stolen money from the club, a parents group that raises money for the North Auburn school. Bucher was arrested on theft and embezzlement charges last Tuesday and is now out on bail, Lt. Mark Reed of the Placer County Sheriff's Office said Monday. The Auburn Union Elementary School District issued a statement Monday in light of the investigation and arrest. “The Auburn Union School District shares the concerns of the Auburn Elementary School’s Parent Teacher Club,” the release states. “We work closely with the organization as they support Auburn Elementary and its students. It is our understanding that the parent-teacher club officers have submitted information to the Placer County Sheriff for possible investigation. We support our PTC organizations and assist them with implementation of best practices.” Bucher was contacted by phone on Monday but declined to comment stating that she was not speaking about the allegations, on the advice of her attorney. Bucher, who owns a makeup design business in Auburn, is also active in youth football. The Placer Jr. Hillmen football program’s website lists Bucher as a member of its 15-person board, serving as publicity director. Outside Auburn Elementary on Lariat Drive, parents picking up their children after the final bell Monday were unaware of the arrest. Bucher served as president of the Auburn Elementary PTC last school year but is not listed as an executive or board member this year. “That’s awful,” parent John Kranzler said, on learning of the allegations against Bucher. The possibility of someone stealing from a fund to help children was particularly upsetting to him, he said. “You put your trust in people,” Kranzler said. “I make a lot of donations but I also know that fund-raising has been slow this year.” Monica Williams, chief business officer for the Auburn Union School District, said the parent-teacher club is a separate organization from the district, with its own tax-exempt status. It serves as a booster organization for the school, she said. Most recent filings reported by the California Secretary of State show revenue by the Auburn Elementary Parent Teacher Club of $32,296 in the 2009-10 school year and $28,987 the year before.