WAYLAND, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) - A former high school athletic director is facing criminal charges after investigators said he illegally kept a school-issued computer after he was fired.
Stephen Cass, who was the athletic director at Wayland High School for two years, was arrested Monday at his home on larceny charges.
"I'm shocked to be here today. I'm sad, I'm upset, and I don't know what's gonna come next," Cass told FOX25 in an exclusive interview.
Investigators said after Cass was told his contract would not be renewed, he failed to turn in one of the two laptops he had been given.
In a statement, Superintendent Dr. Paul Stein told FOX25, "Wayland’s Instructional Technology (IT) Department keeps close track of our schools’ computer equipment. The former athletic director reported that he had returned his school department-issued computer, an assertion which we took at his word. In conducting a routine inventory of the district’s laptops, the IT Department concluded that this computer was in fact missing. This information was reported to the Police Department, which subsequently conducted an investigation and recovered the computer. We hope we can now put this unfortunate incident behind us."
Monday, Wayland Police executed a search warrant at Cass's home and found the laptop in question.
Cass told FOX25 all the school district needed to do to get the laptop was to call.
"They never asked for it back. They never asked me to pay for it. They gave it to me," Cass said. "It's incredibly frustrating."
Cass said he believes the district filed a criminal complaint as part of the ongoing "witch hunt" against him after he alerted district officials to allegations of misused funds and Title IX discrimination in the school's sports programs.
"I saved Wayland over $100,000 a year with my hard work, and in doing so, I found out there were some things going on that were not right, that were not legal," Cass said. "I did what I was supposed to do, which is report it to the principal, the superintendent and the school committee. And this is the thanks I get."
Three days after Cass notified district officials about the alleged improprieties, he claimed he was told he was being let go.
State officials are now investigating Cass's claims and he told FOX25, "To be persecuted for doing the right thing...it's pretty painful."
In response, Dr. Stein said of the district's decision to file a criminal complaint about the missing computer: "With regard to the motivation, the goal here was only to recover the computer and put it back in circulation."
Cass's next court appearance is set for Dec. 18.
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