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LENOIR, N.C. -- A school employee in Caldwell County is accused of embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from the district.

The Caldwell County Sheriff's Office launched an investigation into Emily Hawkins, the lead secretary at Collettsville School, in late March after receiving information about questionable purchases.

Officials say the exact amount taken by Hawkins is still being determined, but so far authorities estimate Hawkins embezzled more than $40,000 from the school.

Hawkins is charged with 10 counts of embezzlement by a public officer or trustee. Her bonds total $100,000.

Hawkins was immediately terminated from employment.

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