updated 1/10/2012 8:36:11 AM ET 2012-01-10T13:36:11

A New York City school employee has lost her job over accusations she faked her daughter's death so she could take a vacation to Costa Rica.

The Daily News says a school official became suspicious of the forged death certificate. A special investigator's report says it had different fonts that were misaligned.

Court records show Joan Barnett pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in the case this fall. She was also fired from her job as a parent coordinator at the Manhattan High School of Hospitality Management.

She allegedly told school officials her daughter died in Costa Rica so she could spend 2½ weeks there in March 2010.

A Costa Rican government official later confirmed the document was a fake, noting it dated from 2005.

Barnett's lawyer declined to comment.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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