Farwell supt. charged with embezzling from youth football

May 11, 2018

By Pat Maurer

Farwell Superintendent David O’Bryant, 36, is facing two felony charges, one of embezzlement and one for larceny by conversion connected with the misuse of Rogers City Youth Football organization funds.

O’Bryant was superintendent of RCAS for two years, a former principal for five years and athletic director for three years there before accepting a position as the Superintendent of Farwell Schools last November.

He was arrested and arraigned May 4th in 89th District Court on charges by Presque Isle County Prosecutor Kenneth A. Radzibon. O’Bryant was represented by Attorney John Brutch, according to the Presque Isle Advance.

O’Bryant’s bond was set at $5,000.

A pre-trial hearing on the matter was held in 89th District Court for Presque Isle County Tuesday.

According to a post Wednesday by the Alpena News, O’Bryant rejected a plea agreement to plead to one of the felonies and make full restitution.

Farwell Superintendent David O’Bryant

Farwell Superintendent David O’Bryant

An article in the Advance said, “The warrant alleges that O’Bryant was an agent, servant or employee of Rogers City Youth Football and ‘did convert to his own use, without the consent of his/her principal, cash withdrawals and cash receipts, money or personal property of his principal, having a value of more than $1,000 but less than $20,000’.”

The larceny by conversion charge reported in Wednesday’s Alpena News said, “Being a person to whom financial accounts and cash deposits had been delivered, embezzled or fraudulently converted to his own used that property, which belonged to the Rogers City Youth Football, the value of the property was $1,000 or more but less than $20,000.”

The felony embezzlement charge carries a ten year prison sentence and/or fines up to three times the amount embezzled, whichever is greater. The Larceny by conversion charge is a felony charge with a five year prison sentence and/or $10,000 or three times the value of the property stolen.

In a March 16 article, the Alpena News reported that “a bill to Rogers City High School that accrued interest” was discussed at the Rogers City Area School Board of Education meeting March 12.

A bill received from Riddell, a football gear company, for more than $2,000, dated from the time O’Bryant was athletic director, had accrued interest when the board became aware of it and questioned him.

The purchase was for equipment for the Rogers City Bears, a pee-wee football team not affiliated with the schools. O’Bryant oversaw the program. Both of the charges against O’Bryant relate to the non-profit youth football organization.

At the March BOE meeting in Rogers City, Board Secretary Devin Pommerenke questioned O’Bryant about the bill and interest charges that were charged to the school’s account. O’Bryant said at that meeting that he didn’t know how the charges got on the (school’s) account, according to information in the Alpena newspaper.

An investigation by the Michigan State Police began March 18 according to information from the Presque Isle County Sheriff’s Office. The arrest warrant was authorized by Presque Isle County Prosecutor Ken Radzibon on April 30th, The Advance said.
O’Bryant notified Farwell Board President Shari Buccilli last Friday about the arraignment and charges against him.

At Monday’s Farwell Board of Education meeting Monday, the board met with O’Bryant in closed session and then met with their attorney in closed session before returning to the open meeting and approving a motion placing O’Bryant on unpaid administrative leave pending the disposition of the felony charges.

A preliminary examination is scheduled for 9 a.m. on May 22 in Presque Isle County.

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