About $14,000 in school funds stolen from principal’s car

Posted at 5:12 PM, Aug 11, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-11 19:13:12-04

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – A school principal’s car was broken into at his home, and now about $14,000 in school funds are missing.

July 30 was a busy day at Granger High School as students registered for the new school year and paid their fees, and, according to Granite School District officials, at the end of the day the principal failed to follow the policy of depositing the funds in a bank immediately.

Granite School District officials said Principal Jerry Haslam was tired, which is why he went home instead of to the bank.

According to a police report, Haslam parked his car in the driveway and left a bag with roughly $14,000 in cash and checks inside. During the night, someone broke the back window of the car and made off with the money.

Detective Jared Richardson, Unified Police department, said it appears to have been a crime of opportunity.

"The bag was just kind of in plain view it appears, broke the back window out and reached in and grabbed it," he said. "They were probably in and out in a matter of seconds."

Ben Horsely, Granite School District spokesman, said Haslam is one of their best.

“This is one of our distinguished principals,” Horsely said. “He's a great instructional leader. He was chosen specifically to open up the new Granger High School Building, and bring 9 through 12 at that particular location. He's a very strong leader and unfortunately, in this particular case, failed to follow one of our policies. That's regretful and unfortunate, but I can assure you that no one is more disappointed or saddened by this than Mr. Haslam himself.”

Horsely said Haslam has been appropriately disciplined, but he did not elaborate on what that meant. Haslam will still be principal at the school when it opens.

Police officials said they are investigating the incident, but so far there has been no word on any suspects.

District officials said they will not ask the families who had their fees stolen to pay again. Officials said about half of the money was in checks, and they said they have notified those affected so they can put a stop on those checks.

Haslam was not at home when FOX 13 News attempted to reach him for comment.

Officials have set up a special hotline to answer any questions from concerned parents. The number is 385-646-5000