GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (AP) — A school official accused of stealing more than $900,000 in western Michigan pleaded no contest Monday to embezzlement.

Brian Wheeler was technology director at the Grand Haven district in Ottawa County. Investigators said he created bills, picked up checks, and deposited the money in his accounts as far back as 2014.

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District staff discovered in November that bond money for the technology department was missing. Wheeler, 56, was fired after failing to appear for interviews.

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The Holland Sentinel said Wheeler, who was paid more than $100,000 a year, typically received positive reviews from his bosses. He began working for Grand Haven schools in 2000.

“Brian Wheeler is simply outstanding! … Without a doubt, Brian is the ‘go to’ person in the district when in crisis or urgent help is needed, no matter the problem or the issue,” Superintendent Andy Ingall wrote in 2018.

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