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9 - Hickory Creek receptionist arrested for stealing students' lunch money
Top 10-Ruthann McInnis mug.jpg
Ruthann McInnis

A Hickory Creek Elementary employee was arrested after a parent filed a report on her son’s missing P-EBT (pandemic electronic benefit transfer) card.

On Nov. 29, Hickory Creek receptionist Ruthann McInnis, 56, was charged with two counts of fraudulent use of a debit card. Stacy Johnson filed a report on Nov. 18 with the McMinnville Police Department regarding her son’s EBT card being used fraudulently.

Detective Katelyn Cannon told the Standard, “One of the parents was wondering why she wasn’t getting her kid’s P-EBT, so she called and was informed that it was being used.” During the investigation, Cannon pulled the EBT records and found that there were 20 separate transactions between the dates of Jan. 10, 2022 and Nov. 15. Cannon said, “The total amount used on the card was $773.10.”

According to Cannon, the EBT card was used at Kroger, and video surveillance identified McInnis. Cannon said, “After interviewing Ruthann, she admitted to using another student’s P-EBT card. Records were pulled from that card and the mother, Lisa Tyson, was notified.” McInnis allegedly used this card from Feb. 16, 2022 to Nov. 18, spending a total of $477.51 across 12 separate transactions.

Detective Cannon said, “While checking the mail back in January, she (McInnis) found two P-EBT cards and put them in her drawer.” McInnis allegedly used the cards for groceries.

McInnis was charged on Nov. 29 for two counts of fraudulent use of a debit card and was ordered to pay restitutions. She was heard in court on Dec. 13 where she was ordered to be heard on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023 by a special judge. Director of Schools Grant Swallows said that she has been suspended pending the investigation.