Woman arrested

RENSSELAER — The mother of a student at Rensselaer schools was arrested by the Rensselaer Police Department for fraud last week.

Melissa Carden, 39, of Rensselaer, was taken into custody on a warrant for allegedly attempting to deceive the Rensselaer Central School Corporation on her child’s reason for missing a number of school days.

According to the Rensselaer police, a school resource officer was advised in early October that a student was not attending school. When the officer spoke with the mother about the child’s absences, Carden said her child was ill and that was the reason for the poor attendance.

Carden told the officer that she would provide the school with a doctor’s note.

A teacher later received a text message from Carden containing a picture of a typed letter, which was reportedly prepared by a nurse at a local medical facility. In the letter, the nurse claimed the student was seen in the office on that day and that the student “can be excused from school on the days missed.”

A nurse’s name was typed at the bottom of the letter but not signed.

Since it didn’t appear legitimate, the officer contacted the nurse named in the letter and asked if the student had been seen and if a note excusing the student was provided. The nurse told the officer there was no record of a visit by the student at the office nor was a letter written.

Police contacted Carden on Oct. 14 about the note and she advised then that her child was not sick on the days absent from school and that she provided the note knowing it was not legitimate.

Carden’s faces a fraud charge that carries a Level 6 felony. Police added Carden is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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