LEXINGTON (WACH) -- According to the Lexington County Sheriff's Department, 46-year-old Bryan Butz of Batesburg-Leesville has been charged with stealing $135,596 from Lexington County School District One while he served as the athletic director at White Knoll High School.Butz was arrested Wednesday afternoon and appeared before a judge Thursday morning.Butz bond was set at $100,000.As of late Thursday he remained in the Lexington County Detention Center.
According to Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts - the school district noticed the money was missing when White Knoll High School's Booster Club funds started running low."What we understand at this point in time is that there was a notice that the athletic account started dwindling and the school district got concerned about the money and had an audit done. When they started doing the audit, they discovered this unauthorized bank account," said Metts.Metts said that bank account belonged to Butz.Between June of 2006 and September of 2010, Metts said Butz deposited money into the account that was orginally intended for the school's booster club.
"Then he would take a debit card and go to an ATM, and withdraw the money in cash and then of course convert it for his own personal use," said Metts.According to Lexington School District One Officials, In mid-August Butz was placed on leave from his $80,141.01 a year job pending an investigation.
The Lexington County Sheriff's Department is continuing to investigate the case to determine if any additional persons or accounts may have been involved.Lexington School District One Officials said they have a surety bond that covers all employees who handle money, up to $100,000.
In response to Butz's arrest, Lexington One released this statement to WACH FOX News: In August, while investigating concerns expressed by the White Knoll High School Booster Club, Lexington County School District One employees in the district TMs Fiscal Services Office found a previously unknown checking account. This unknown account was not the official Booster Club account nor was it part of the district TMs accounts.On Monday, August 16, 2010, the district notified the Lexington County Sheriff TMs Department of the irregularities, filed an incident report and turned the investigation over to them. The district, White Knoll High School and the WKHS Athletic Booster Club have been working closely with law enforcement regarding this matter. Administrators also acted in accordance with Board Policy and district procedure and immediately placed the WKHS Athletic Director Bryan R. Butz on leave pending an inquiry into the situation. This is standard operating procedure. In the meantime, a WKHS assistant principal with past athletic director experience is currently serving as athletic director. At the beginning of each school year, students and staff are instructed in the rules and regulations of the district. In addition, individuals who handle money receive additional training and a copy of the district TMs Finance Handbook.Copies of Lexington County School District One TMs policies, Employee Handbook, Finance Handbook and Fundraising Manual are available from the district TMs website at www.lexington1.net.