Facing criminal charges is a situation no one ever wants to be in but protections are available to accused individuals. The head football coach and Athletic Director of a high school in a Georgia community several hours south of the Gwinnett area was recently arrested on theft charges. The football coach’s wife, who serves as cheerleading coach, was also arrested on theft charges. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced that the couple was arrested on theft by taking charges. The couple is facing felony charges for allegedly taking athletic funds they were responsible for administering.
Authorities reported that the football coach was facing one felony charge of theft by taking and his wife was facing three felony charges of theft by taking in relation to missing funds from programs administered by the couple. The couple is facing felony charges because, under Georgia law, it is a felony to commit theft when acting in an official capacity. The local sheriff requested, due to a potential conflict of interest, that the GBI investigate alleged missing funds from an athletic department fundraiser and missing cheerleader funds. The request was made after parents reported money they had paid missing. The amount of money allegedly missing was in different amounts.
The couple, who also both held teaching positions, has resigned and was released from jail on bail. The football coach had been with the school since 2010 but had been the subject of an on-field controversy at the previous school he was at. Criminal accusations, allegations and charges are difficult for any accused individual to deal with. They can impact an accused individual’s freedom and professional and personal lives. Because of the serious nature of criminal charges, including theft charges, criminal defense protections are available to accused individuals to help them through the criminal justice process, which can be overwhelming.
Accused individuals have the option to challenge allegations against them to eliminate the charges they are facing or to negotiate to mitigate the impact of the charges they are facing. It is important for accused individuals to be familiar with their criminal defense rights and the range of options available to them when facing criminal charges.
Source: Jacksonville.com, “Wayne County High head football coach, wife charged with theft by taking, GBI says,” Terry Dickson, May 24, 2016