A teacher at Sewanhaka High School was indicted on charges today that allege she submitted a forged Covid-19 vaccination card to the high school in an effort to bypass the district's mandatory testing rules.
Tricia Manno, 47, was arraigned earlier today on charges of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, a felony charge, as well as one count of third-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, two counts of first-degree offering false instrument for filing and one count of fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property.
Manno pleaded not guilty to these charges. She will return to court on May 24. If convicted of the top charge, Manno faces a potential maximum of two and one-third to seven years in prison.
According to the statement, Manno, who is from Lindenhurst, submitted a digital copy of a vaccination card to the Sewanhaka district as proof of her vaccination status. A district rule requires proof of vaccination for staff members who wish to not be tested weekly for Covid-19.
Several discrepancies allegedly appeared on Mannon’s submission, which is seemingly forged, according to the DA’s office.
Employees at the high school discovered these alleged discrepancies, and Manno was asked to submit the original card. The teacher told the district that she lost her original card and claimed that she was vaccinated at the Northport VA Medical Center.
On September 27, Manno allegedly went to the medical center in Northport to obtain a replacement card and claimed she lost her original card when she showed a staff member there a digital image of the forged vaccination card.
A member of the medical center issued Manno a replacement card. The medical center has no record of administering a Covid-19 vaccine to Manno, according to the statement. Manno then met with district officials and submitted the replacement vaccination card on Oct. 5 of last year, the DA’s office said.
"This defendant allegedly attempted to circumvent the school district's mandatory testing requirement by submitting a vaccine card with obvious forgeries," Donnelly said, according to the statement.
"Manno doubled-down on the fraud by allegedly illegally obtaining a replacement card at the Northport VA Medical Center where she claimed to have been vaccinated, showing staff a digital fake as her proof. Submitting fraudulent documents is a crime, and in this case, one that put the health and safety of students and staff at risk,” Donnely added.
— Robert Traverso