Indianapolis, IN — A school official in Indiana is facing fraud charges after using her insurance to get medical care for a sick student who didn’t have insurance.
Authorities say Casey Smitherman told doctors and a pharmacy that the student was her son — but only after he was denied service at a local clinic.
Despite her arrest, the district is supporting the superintendent, saying she made a bad choice but only because she was worried about a sick child.
It was in early January that Smitherman faced a difficult choice — help a 15-year old boy she thought had strep throat or do nothing, knowing the boy didn’t have health insurance. According to court documents, on Jan. 9, Smitherman went to the boy’s home, picked him up and took him to a local clinic.
After they refused the boy service, she took him to the St. Vincent Clinic in Elwood.
Police say Smitherman told doctors the boy was her son and used her own insurance to get him help.
In a television statement, Smitherman said, “I knew he did not have insurance, and I wanted to do all I could to help him get well. I know this action was wrong. In the moment, my only concern was for this child’s health.”
Court documents show the two went to a nearby CVS and filled the prescription under Smitherman’s son’s name.
Police say the boy tore off the name label and threw out the remnants because he knew “it was wrong.” Now, Smitherman faces three felonies and a misdemeanor all related to fraud.
She does, however, have the support of her school district. The board director was quoted saying, “She made an unfortunate mistake, but we understand that it was out of concern for this child’s welfare. We know she understands how what she did was wrong, and she continues to have our full support in continuing in her position.”
Smitherman could have instead chosen to call the Department of Children’s Services, but she says she was worried that would result in the boy being put in foster care.
School officials say Smitherman is entering a diversion program, and prosecutors will drop the charges against her if she has no more arrests in the coming year.