Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


December 6, 2013

Appalling crime

Ex-superintendent admits to stealing $193,149 from district

ASHLAND — While William G. Rye was superintendent of the small Dayton Independent School District in Campbell County across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, the district was having such severe financial problems that athletic teams were barred from traveling long distances to “away” games. At the same time, travel expenses for other school activities from band competitions to academic meets were brought to a  halt to the detriment of Dayton students.

Those hard times in an impoverished district make Rye’s plea of guilty to embezzling more than $193,000 from the district over a period of eight years that much more appalling. While teachers and students were going without, the man in charge of the day-to-day operation of the school district was lining his pockets with money stolen from the taxpayers.

Investigators for state Auditor Adam Edelen documented problems in a review of the Dayton Independent School District this year. Edelen then turned the findings over to the FBI for investigation.

However, it was Rye’s successor, Jay Brewer, who became superintendent in July 2012, who first noticed the missing funds and notified Edelen’s office of his concerns. At the time, Brewer called the allegations he was making against Rye “terrible.”

How terrible? Well, in his guilty plea Monday, Rye admitted he embezzled a whopping $193,149.22 from the school district between 2004 and 2012. This is in a small school district Rye said lacked the funds to provide basic school services.

In a statement Monday, Edelen said the findings were “stomach-churning” because Rye “literally drained the bank account” of a school district so poor that 90 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-priced lunches. The elected state auditor said the case “sparked a level of emotion in me that I try to contain as a public leader.”

Rye will be sentenced April 22 in U.S. District Court in Covington. He could be sentenced to up to 10 years, and Edelen thinks he deserves to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. “There must be consequences for stealing from kids, especially vulnerable kids,” the auditor said.

William G. Rye betrayed the trust placed in him by the Dayton Independent Board of Education and by the taxpayers of the school district. While children and teachers in the district were going without, Rye was lining his pockets. That’s shameful and unforgivable. William Rye merits no sympathy.

Text Only
  • Positive trend

    For those adults who have a low opinion of American teenagers, Uncle Sam’s latest study of worrisome behavior among teens provides some good news: Teens are smoking less, drinking less and fighting less. Most forms of drug use, weapons use and risky sex also are declining — and have been since 1991, the year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first started surveying teens about  their behavior.

    July 24, 2014

  • Research's value

    In pushing for a higher education reform bill in the late 1990s, former Gov. Paul Patton set an ambitious goal of having the University of Kentucky become a Top 20 research university by 2020. UK has yet to accomplish that goal, but UK and the University of Louisville both have made great advances in research in recent years.

    July 24, 2014

  • Deadline is near

    People with Kentucky driver’s licenses may soon be required to show a passport or some other accepted form of federal identification to enter “restricted” or “semi-restricted” areas of federal facilities, including federal courthouses, military bases, federal prisons and a wide range of other federal offices.

    July 23, 2014

  • Issue is safety

    The Kentucky High School Athletic Association’s Board of Control has recommended softball  “players at first base, third base and pitcher utilize the permissive requirement in the playing rules and wear face/head protection.”

    July 23, 2014

  • More difficult

    In a state like Kentucky with the number of adults who have not graduated from high school is much higher than the national average, undereducated adults have been encouraged to earn high-school equivalency degrees by studying for, taking and passing the General Educational Development (GED) test.

    May 22, 2014

  • Primary election sends messages

    The voters — or at least the minority who took the time to go to the polls Tuesday — have spoken, with Boyd County voters sending mixed messages in the county-wide races that gathered the most attention.

    May 21, 2014

  • Click it or Ticket

    "Click it or Ticket” is a phrase used so often in recent years most of us hardly give it a thought.

    May 21, 2014

  • Top trooper

    Thumbs up to Trooper First Class Shane Goodall of Flatwoods for being named 2013 Trooper of the Year for Kentucky.

    May 20, 2014

  • 05/18/2014 — This Week in the Tri-State

    Local news

    May 18, 2014

  • 0518greene.jpeg Greene-Lounsberry

    John and Eva Greene of Greenup are proud to announce the engagement of their daughter, Stacey Nicole Greene, to Jonathan Wesley Lounsberry.

    May 18, 2014 1 Photo