Farwell superintendent pleads guilty to larceny charges

July 5, 2018

By Pat Maurer

Rogers City – Farwell Superintendent David O’Bryant, now on unpaid administrative leave pending disposition of felony criminal charges pending against him, accepted a plea deal in Presque Isle County Monday.

O’Bryant pled guilty to a charge of larceny by conversion over $1,000, less than $20,000 and agreed to pay restitution of $3,726.52. The embezzlement charge against him was dismissed as part of the plea bargain.

The Larceny by conversion charge is a felony charge with a five year prison sentence and/or $10,000 or three times the value of the property stolen.

O’Bryant, the former superintendent of Rogers City Schools who has been Farwell’s superintendent since last November, was charged this spring with embezzlement and larceny by conversion. The charges involve interest charges on equipment purchased for a youth football program not affiliated with the district that were paid with Rogers City School District funds when he was an athletic director in that district.

Farwell Superintendent David O’Bryant pled guilty to larceny by conversion Monday.

Farwell Superintendent David O’Bryant pled guilty to larceny by conversion Monday.

In a March 16 article, the Alpena News reported that “a bill to Rogers City High School that accrued interest” was discussed at the Rogers City Area School Board of Education meeting March 12.

A bill received from Riddell, a football gear company, for more than $2,000, dated from the time O’Bryant was athletic director, had accrued interest when the board became aware of it and questioned him.

The purchase was for equipment for the Rogers City Bears, a pee-wee football team not affiliated with the schools. O’Bryant oversaw the program. Both of the charges against O’Bryant relate to the non-profit youth football organization.

In May, according to a post by the Alpena News, O’Bryant rejected a plea agreement to plead to one of the felonies and make full restitution.

He was arrested and arraigned May 4th in 89th District Court on charges by Presque Isle County Prosecutor Kenneth A. Radzibon. O’Bryant was represented by Attorney John Brutch, according to an article in the Presque Isle Advance.

The article in the Advance said, “The warrant alleges that O’Bryant was an agent, servant or employee of Rogers City Youth Football and ‘did convert to his own use, without the consent of his/her principal, cash withdrawals and cash receipts, money or personal property of his principal, having a value of more than $1,000 but less than $20,000’.”

He was the superintendent of Rogers City Area Schools for two years, was a sixth through 8th grade principal for the previous five years and athletic director for three years.

Last November, O’Bryant replaced Farwell Superintendent Carl Seiter who left the Village last June to take a position as superintendent of two districts, Hillman Community Schools and Atlanta Community Schools.

Retired Harrison Superintendent Tom House filled the position as interim superintendent until O’Bryant was hired in November and is now filling the position again until the felony charges are resolved.

O’Bryant’s sentencing is set for August 13th at 9 a.m.

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