Tuesday, June 25, 2013

FCHS athletic director busted for theft from sports accounts in Georgia

Fayette County High School Athletic Director Darren A. Handley resigned suddenly earlier this month. The reason became apparent Tuesday when Fayetteville detectives arrested the former assistant principal and charged him with stealing money from the school’s athletic accounts.

Handley was jailed Tuesday on two counts of theft by taking in connection to funds stolen from several of the school’s athletic accounts.

Fayetteville Det. Mike Whitlow said Handley, 48, was charged with two counts of theft by taking fiduciary. Those charges were filed because Georgia does not have a charge for embezzlement, Whitlow added.

Whitlow said detectives received the case in early June when discrepancies were discovered in several athletic accounts at the school for which Handley had responsibility.

Whitlow said investigators currently believe amounts totaling several thousand dollars were stolen.

“He was moving funds from one of the school-related accounts to the other,” Whitlow said of the activity that is thought to have taken place over the past two years. “He oversaw the athletic-related accounts and he moved money from some of those. Eventually, he ended up with the money.”

Whitlow noted that the investigation is ongoing and that, at present, Handley is believed to be the only person involved. Investigators are in process of reviewing documents containing signatures “we don’t believe were signed by those people,” Whitlow added.

Fayette County School System interim Superintendent Dan Colwell on Tuesday said the school system discovered missing funds for which Handley had administrative responsibility.

Colwell said the school system conducted an internal investigation and subsequently turned the matter over to law enforcement.

Handley tendered his resignation earlier this month and it was accepted by the Fayette County Board of Education.

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