A 39-year-old woman who worked as the head cook at Dakota Meadows Middle School in North Mankato has been sentenced for stealing thousands of dollars from the Association of Cooks while she served as the group’s treasurer.
Nikki Jo Johnson of Lake Crystal was given five years probation, a $1,000 fine and ordered to pay more than $4,500 in restitution. She was also ordered to complete 10 days of sentence-to-service and given 14 days in jail, which she had already served.
According to the complaint, Johnson transferred nearly $5,600 dollars from the Association of Cooks’ account into her own personal bank account and the bank account of her boyfriend.+
When Johnson was confronted about the missing money, police say she sent an email to the association, hoping police wouldn’t have to be involved.
“I did something stupid and I don’t want to get in trouble for this,” Johnson said in the email. “I will do anything to fix this. I just don’t want you guys to hate me and look down on me. I messed up. Please can we fix this together. I am sorry.”
The account is funded through dues paid by the cooks in the Mankato Area Public School District, and the money is used for various expenses.