Former Red Bank PTA president has lengthy criminal record
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Investigators say Deejay Mizzell used a school debit card for personal use and stole cash from the Red Bank Elementary PTA.
Channel 3 has learned it's not the first time Mizzell has faced theft charges.
"It's an easy attack," Andrea Holder says. "She doesn't have a good record."
Andrea Holder says a lengthy criminal record makes her friend Deejay Mizzell an easy target.
The former Red Bank Elementary PTA president is accused of stealing more than a $1,000.
"Stealing from PTA, stealing from kids, that's not in her character," Holder says.
It's not the first time Mizzell has been charged with theft.
In 2008, she was charged with passing worthless checks at a grocery store.
A year later, she was caught again at a childcare facility.
That same year, court documents show she was charged with buying a ring for almost $4,000 on her father's credit card, without his consent.
She's faced charges in six cases since 2008.
A few counts were dropped, but Mizzell pleaded guilty to the rest and was sentenced to probation.
"You're innocent until proven guilty, and she hasn't been proven guilty of anything," Holder says.
Holder, who just recently learned about Mizzell's past, believes this time is different.
Holder works with Mizzell's Diaper Duty non-profit, a group that provides diapers for needy families.
The two recently appeared on Channel 3's 3 Plus You to promote the organization.
Holder says Mizzell is giving, and dedicated to helping others. That's why she believes Mizzell when she tells her the fault lies somewhere else.
"If there has been money taken, it's not from her behalf," Holder says. "There has to be someone else doing it. There has to be proof of that."
According to court records, Mizzell was given two weeks to repay the PTA money, but did not.
Channel 3 talked to her Tuesday by phone. She tells us she turned herself into police and has resigned as PTA president.
At her attorney's suggestion, she chose not to comment on the charges, but says the truth will come out in court.
She goes before a judge on October 23.