County Attorney: Hastings school official charged with embezzlement, theft of school funds

February 12, 2019 07:06 PM

The Hastings High School assistant principal and head wrestling coach faces multiple charges after authorities say he was involved in the theft of over $13,900 from the Hastings School District, according to a release from the Dakota County Attorney's Office. 

The attorney's office said 37-year-old Joshua McLay has been charged with eight counts of embezzlement of public funds and eight counts of theft by swindle. 

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In September 2011, McLay advised the district's supervisor he was taking his coaching staff to a clinic in Lincoln, Nebraska. McLay asked if the district would cover for gas, a van and a hotel room while the coaches were at the clinic, according to the release. 

The attorney's office said McLay also mentioned he wanted to treat the coaches to the Nebraska football game that weekend, which the accounting supervisor said would not be possible. 

RELATED: Assistant principal, wrestling coach will keep job despite accusations he misused funds

The attorney's office went on to say McLay used district funds to purchase college football games for people he said were attending coaching clinics. The release said he purchased tickets in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2018. 

McLay also spent district money for car rentals, hotel rooms, gas and food for trips to Minneapolis, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Florida and Indiana, according to the attorney's office. The release said McLay said the expenses were for individuals attending coaching clinics. 

The attorney's office said an investigation revealed no coaching clinics took place on any of the trips. 

McLay was charged by summons and will make his first court appearance on April 8. 

According to the district, McLay remains an employee. 

"The Hastings School Board entered into an agreement with Mr. McLay back in November. The agreement is binding, pending the outcome of recent charges, and we are continuing to move forward with that agreement at this point in time," a statement from the district read. 

 

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