Two former Boone County school system employees sentenced in embezzlement case

David Bryan Jarrell, who had worked as the school system’s director of transportation, left, and former school system mechanic Tracy Harvey are sentenced Wednesday to 1 to 10 years in prison. (WCHS/WVAH File Photo)

Two people who worked in the Boone County school system were sentenced Wednesday in an embezzlement case.

David Bryan Jarrell, who had worked as the school system’s director of transportation, and former school system mechanic Tracy Harvey were both sentenced to 1 to 10 years in prison. Both were immediately taken to jail.

In early September, Jarrell and Harvey pleaded guilty to embezzlement and agreed to testify against others.

State police previously said the embezzlement involved more than $20,000 and took place over the 2014 to 2017 school years.

"I'm just sorry. I can't explain why I did what I done," Harvey told the judge.

"I'm terribly ashamed that they have to be here," Jarrell said through tears, referencing his family and friends that came to support him during the hearing.

"Stealing from the public is very bad. Stealing from a school board when they are worried about making their payroll when they can't afford to buy textbooks is incredibly bad," Judge William Thompson said.

Court records said some invoices from the school system had been altered. Search warrants were served at the Boone County school bus garage and Harvey Trucking in Ashford. Money was used to buy tires, lift kits for personal vehicles, wheels, fuel kits, brakes, brake parts, a motor home windshield and mud flaps, court records said.

"These types of actions won't be tolerated, as they do negatively impact our students and the potential future that our students have," superintendent Jeff Huffman said after the hearing.

Both men are required to pay back a combined restitution just shy of $84,000.

"The reason this money was stolen is one of the seven deadly sins and that's greed. There's no other reason for this money to be stolen," Thompson said.

School officials said one of the biggest obstacles they've had to overcome from the investigation is gaining back public trust but they are hopeful it's on the mend.

"It will be good to put this behind us but, in all honesty, we want to always look forward," Huffman said.

Former school board members Danny Cantley and Mark Sumpter were recently indicted for allegedly accepting gifts from people they knew were interested in work with the school system. Their cases are still playing out in court.

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