Cops: Special Ed Teacher Faked Brain Tumor to Get Time Off

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cancer-teacher-bgMIDDLETOWN, Pa. — An award winning special education teacher is under arrest for allegedly lying about having an inoperable brain tumor.

Fifty-one-year-old Leslie Herneisey of Middletown is accused of faking documents about her illness to get time off from work.

According to police Herneisey forged papers stating she needed 8 weeks off to undergo chemotherapy.

She also allegedly accepted money colleagues raised to send her on a free trip to Disney World.

But her lack of symptoms eventually made friends and district officials suspicious.

Det. Robert Appleby says Herneisey admitted the fabrication and resigned in May.

She faces 12 counts of forgery.

Right now the district attorney is only pursuing the forgery charges, Appleby said, with hopes that teachers and friends who donated money for her trip to Disney World will pursue that matter in civil court.

Appleby said he believes Herneisey is a good person who made a terrible mistake, telling a lie that got out of control.

Her attorney, Terry McGowan, says Herneisey is battling depression.

“She’s in counseling, and we’re trying to get her to the right people. I just hope in the end whoever does the judgment on her takes into consideration all the good she’s done,” McGowan said.

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