A Davenport woman accused of stealing more than $150,000 from the School Nutrition Association of Iowa has pleaded not guilty in Scott County District Court.
Norma Jean Adams, 74, waived her right to a formal arraignment and filed a written plea through her attorney, David Treimer.
Assistant Scott County Attorney Amy DeVine on Wednesday formally filed charges of first-degree theft and commission of specified unlawful activity.
Prosecutors intend to try Adams as a habitual offender, which could result in an enhanced sentence on the charges if convicted.
According to court records, she has felony convictions in Scott County in July 1987 and Rock Island County in March 2003.
She will be in court Aug. 25 for a pretrial conference. A trial has been scheduled for Sept. 5.
Adams, under the name Norma LaMantia, was the executive director of the School Nutrition Association of Iowa, a statewide, nonprofit organization representing more than 950 members employed by school districts who provide meals to students across the state.
She resigned June 30, 2016, after members of the association's board discovered irregularities in her financial transactions for the organization.
State Auditor Mary Mosiman conducted an audit for the association that took in the time period of Jan. 1, 2010, through July 31, 2016.
According to an arrest affidavit filed by Davenport police, Adams deposited $156,248.25 belonging to the organization into her personal bank accounts.
Adams admitted to taking the money in an interview with auditors and a Davenport police detective and said she had spent her personal funds "and then I took some money from the association,” according to the audit report that was released in June.
At one point, she said she felt "so guilty" about what she had done in 2014 that she paid back $10,650 but hid the reason for the repayment on financial documents, according to the audit report.
The audit report found that Adams misused at least $169,000 over a five-year period.