Grand Haven assistant superintendent wanted for embezzlement

Ottawa County

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — Authorities are looking for a former Grand Haven Area Public Schools official who is believed to have embezzled more than $100,000.

GHAPS Assistant Superintendent Brian Wheeler, 56, is wanted for a count of embezzlement of $100,000 or more and a count of using a computer to commit a crime, the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety said in a Tuesday release. It said a felony warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Police say senior staff with the school noticed irregularities that occurred over a long period of time in financial accounts managed by Wheeler. GHDPS said the investigation has been ongoing since earlier this month with support from the school’s senior administration.

It said initial investigation revealed the alleged embezzled funds totals more than $100,000. A forensic audit will reveal exactly how much money was stolen, officials say.

A photo of Brian Wheeler. (courtesy Grand Haven Department of Public Safety)

Wheeler, who was with the district for more than 20 years, was placed on administrative leave on Nov. 5, the school said in a release. It said he did not show up to multiple investigatory interviews and his employment was terminated on Nov. 22.

“We are shocked and distressed that a trusted member of our leadership team, someone with more
than 20 years of employment with the district, may have embezzled from our schools,”
Superintendent Andrew Ingall said in the release.

Authorities believe Wheeler may have fled the area. He may be driving either a 2013 cream-colored Buick Enclave, with Michigan license plate DTH 1844, or a 2005 Monaco motorhome with Michigan license plate EKE 7580.

Anyone with information on his location should call GHDPS at 616.842.3460 or Ottawa County Silent Observer at 877.88.SILENT (745368). Tips can be submitted anonymously. A reward is offered for information that leads to his arrest.

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