Former Northwest High School vocal teacher David Sackschewsky agreed to a plea agreement Friday morning in Hall County District Court, pleading guilty to one charge and no contest to another.
Sackschewsky pleaded guilty to second-degree forgery totaling $5,000 or more and no contest to theft by unlawful taking totaling $1,500 to $4,999. The former is a Class 2A felony, the latter a Class 4 felony.
Under the agreement, the other five charges against Sackschewsky will be dropped. The state will recommend probation.
Judge Mark Young noted that he, like other judges, is under no obligation to follow the plea agreement.
But he scheduled Sackschewsky’s sentencing for 2:30 p.m. Dec. 19.
The agreement was negotiated by defense attorney Mark Porto and the two prosecutors, deputy Hall County Attorneys Sarah Hinrichs and Matt Boyle.
The parties agreed that the amount of restitution at issue is $150,000.
“The defendant will be free to present evidence regarding his ability to pay, and whether restitution should be ordered,” Hinrichs said later. The judge will make the decision.
The missing money was taken from Northwest’s 14 Karat Gold show choir booster club account.
Also as part of the agreement, the state agreed not to pursue charges in a separate criminal investigation involving an incident on Oct. 2. 2018. Hinrichs would not elaborate on that investigation.
The hearing was called to hear a request from Porto for a plea in abatement. That motion was to challenge the sufficiency of the evidence against Sackschewsky.
During the hearing, Hinrichs detailed the case against Sackschewsky. Three people were authorized to sign for the account and make withdrawals. At no time was Sackschewsky one of those people, she said. The number of cash withdrawals made by Sackschewsy increased substantially after his sister, Laurie Stutzman, became treasurer of the booster club.
In the forgery accusation, Sackschewsky is accused of creating a false invoice from the Hal Leonard Corp., which is a music publishing company.
Other than answering the judge’s questions, Sackschewsky, 49, did not speak at the hearing.
After leaving the courtroom, Sackschewsky declined an opportunity to speak to The Independent.