Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Opinion

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.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • What's next?

    While virtually all cities in northeastern Kentucky provide their residents with some utility services — water and sewer, mainly, and sometimes natural gas — to the best of our knowledge, Olive Hill is the only town in the FIVCO‚Äąregion with its own electrical company.
     

    April 13, 2014

  • 'Waited too long'

    Lt. Garlin Murl Conner left the U.S. Army as the second-most decorated soldier during World War II, earning four Silver Stars, four Bronze Stars, seven Purple Hearts and the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions during 28 straight months in combat.

    April 12, 2014

  • Enact HB 3

    The National Rx Drug Abuse Summit is under way hundreds of miles from eastern Kentucky in Orlando, Fla., but the three-day conference which runs through Thursday, was organized by Operation UNITE, the eastern Kentucky anti-drug group that knows all too well the devastating impact the prescription drug epidemic continues to have on this region.

    April 11, 2014

  • State officials cease efforts to stop advance of ash borer

    Kentucky’s war against the tiny emerald ash borer responsible for already killing more than 25 million ash trees in the eastern United States has ended in surrender — by state officials, not the tiny insect.

    April 8, 2014

  • Demise of apparel industry in Kentucky continues

    The steady demise of the once thriving clothing industry in small Kentucky towns continues with the latest factory to announce it is shutting down being one of the largest: Fruit of the Loom has announced it is closing its last remaining plant in Jamestown, a move that eventually will see the elimination of more than 600 jobs in the small town near Lake Cumberland.

    April 7, 2014

  • None on ballot

    The 2014 Kentucky General Assembly considered an unusually high number of proposed amendments to the Kentucky Constitution on such issues as casino gambling, the restoration of voting rights for convicted felons and the elimination of state and local elected offices.

    April 4, 2014

  • In Your View

    Letters to the editor

    April 3, 2014

  • Time runs out

    Two bills proposed by House Majority Leader Rocky Adkins and designed to boost the economy of this region have apparently died in the Kentucky Senate after being approved by the House of Representatives. Despite easily being approved by the Democratic-controlled House, neither bill was even brought up for a vote by the Republican-controlled Senate.

    April 2, 2014

  • Time runs out

    Two bills proposed by House Majority Leader Rocky Adkins and designed to boost the economy of this region have apparently died in the Kentucky Senate after being approved by the House of Representatives. Despite easily being approved by the Democratic-controlled House, neither bill was even brought up for a vote by the Republican-controlled Senate.

    April 2, 2014

  • Dismal numbers

    The good news is that the health ratings of all but two area counties improved in the latest ranking of the state’s 120 counties. However, before we pat ourselves on the back for those improvements, the overall health of residents of counties in northeast Kentucky remains rather dismal. Yes, we are improving but we still have a long, long way to go.

    April 2, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
SEC Zone