Elwood community members speak out as superintendent faces charges

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ELWOOD, Ind. -- Community members weighed in at a school board meeting Tuesday as the superintendent of Elwood Community School Corporation faces criminal charges.

Dr. Casey Smitherman is facing charges including official misconduct and insurance fraud after investigators said she sought medical treatment for a teen using her insurance and own son's name.

The Indiana Department of Education also confirms it has opened a file for consideration of action on the superintendent's educator license but cannot discuss pending cases.

"You must understand the magnitude of these actions," one community member told the school district's board of trustees.

"This is a black and white, there's a right and there's a wrong," a woman who identified herself as a school nurse said.

The charges were filed last week against Smitherman. The Madison County prosecutor said they are talking about a diversion program, which if followed, means Smitherman would not be convicted.

Smitherman previously said in a statement in the moment her only concern was for the child's health.

Board of Trustees President Brent Kane initially released a statement saying Smitherman continued to have their support.

"By putting out a public statement, I did not mean to imply the board has taken any official action with respect to the superintendent's employment or the incident of misconduct, that is being reported in the news I also did not mean to imply the board supported or condoned the alleged incident of misconduct that is being reported," Kane told the crowd at the meeting.

But the board couldn't have a discussion about accusations of misconduct against Smitherman during an executive session because of a mistake on the meeting notice.

It didn't stop community members from commenting for more than an hour on the charges against Smitherman and other concerns.

"All the work the community members, business owners, city officials and residents have put in to facilitate building up our town has come to a crashing halt," one parent said. "What a punch to the gut. "

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