Thursday, September 18, 2014

DA drops embezzlement charges against coach, pending further investigation

Prosecutors have filed a motion to drop charges pending further investigation against the head football coach at Vanden High School, who was arrested late last month on suspicion of embezzlement.

Levon Haynes, 42, who was also a campus monitor at Vanden, was arrested in August after police said an investigation showed he had embezzled thousands of dollars in funds raised for Vanden High School football. He has been placed on paid administrative leave and has been free on $15,000 bail.

Solano County District Attorney Krishna Abrams said the filing does not mean the case has been cleared completely. The notice, she said, indicates that the intake deputy prosecutor is seeking more information before making an informed final decision on whether or not to prosecute. Asked how long the further investigation might take, she said it would not go on indefinitely and that ultimately if a decision is made not to prosecute a notice of intent not to prosecute would be filed "but that has not happened at this point."

Travis Unified School District Superintendent Kate Wren Gavlak declined to comment on the latest action in the case.

And Travis School Board President Ivery Hood, who had not heard the news until told by The Reporter, declined to comment saying he doesn't "get involved in personnel issues.

District officials had called police into the matter in mid August after, they said, they had commenced their own investigation. Fairfield police have said the matter involves thousands of dollars and may involve more than one sports fund.

Haynes declined comment on Tuesday but his wife, Stephanie said the family is "happy the first step of justice for coach Haynes has been taken" and adding that they "look forward to resolving matters with Travis Unified." She said the coach and their entire family remain "committed to the district, players and community."

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