Get ready for “Mom-strocity: The Sequel”!
Providence Hogan, who stole close to $100,000 from a Cobble Hill elementary school parent-teacher association while she was treasurer of the volunteer group, was elected second vice president of the parent-teacher association at Edward R. Murrow High School in Midwood late Wednesday night in a vote that laid bare the challenges of democracy in the face of an ill-informed electorate.
No one voting at the meeting appeared to know about Hogan’s shady past — that between May 2008 and September 2010, the then-PS 29 parent-teacher association treasurer cut checks to herself ranging from $6,000 to $52,000. On the withdrawal slips, Hogan, who formerly owned the Providence Day Spa on Atlantic Avenue, claimed that the pilfered cash was for class trips to the Brooklyn–Queens Conservatory of Music and Club Getaway.
In all, she stole somewhere between the $82,000 prosecutors charged her with and the $100,000 theft to which she confessed.
Hogan said she needed the money for fertility treatments.
But at Wednesday night’s meeting at the elite Midwood high school, parents were meeting Hogan for the first time, and her introduction glossed over some important details of her record.
“The PTA I was with before raised $1 million dollars,” she said to the crowd. “I don’t wish to be involved with money at this school, but I want to be involved.”
Attendees were not given the opportunity to ask Hogan or her fellow candidates any questions before casting their votes. Hogan won the paper-ballot election, though it is unclear by what margin.
Afterwards, a parent of a freshman at the school approached the group’s leaders and informed them of Hogan’s history, citing prior Brooklyn Paper coverage. Other parents were stunned to learn that they had just elected Hogan, citing a lack of information, the foundation of democracy.
“I’m absolutely appalled that she got elected executive vice president,” said one parent who requested anonymity. “I am amazed that she has the chutzpah to even run; wouldn’t she realize that parents would figure out who she is and what she had done?”
Hogan’s victory may be short-lived, however. A member of the Murrow school leadership team wrote to the school’s principal Allen Barge “to protest this vote and hope that Providence Hogan will not be allowed to be on the PTA Board.”
“Even if she is not directly handling the PTA money, if she stays … it will be a disgrace to the school to have a thief on the PTA Board and be disrespectful to all the parents who pay their dues and contribute their hard-earned money to the PTA,” wrote Alison Rona, a former parent-teacher association vice president who remains active in the school.
It is unclear what will happen next, but one school leadership official suggested at the end of the meeting that if the reports about Hogan’s past were confirmed, a new election would be scheduled.
Hogan avoided jail time in a 2011 deal after promising to pay back all the money she stole. She did make her first payment of $50,000 in late 2011, and was scheduled to pay $4,000 every quarter-year thereafter. But she failed to make a payment in 2013 and served a brief stint in jail. It was unclear at press time if Hogan ever made full restitution.