The death in prison of a former school administrator “extremely difficult” for the family and the community

OTTAWA COUNTY, MI – The Grand Haven Area Public Schools Superintendent offered his condolences to the family of former school administrator Brian Keith Wheeler, who died in the Ottawa County Jail.

Wheeler, 56, of Muskegon, pleaded guilty earlier this week to embezzlement of more than $100,000 and using a computer to commit a crime.

He was accused of stealing $900,000 from the school district over the years. He was jailed pending sentencing next month in Ottawa County Circuit Court when he died on Thursday, January 28.

Related: Former school administrator identified as inmate found dead at Ottawa County Jail

“We extend our deepest condolences to Mr. Wheeler’s family, who have been through so much over the past few months,” Superintendent Scott Grimes said in a statement.

“They are at the forefront of our thoughts and prayers at this extremely difficult time. The whole situation has been painful for the GHAPS (Grand Haven Area Public Schools) community. »

State Police, at the request of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department, are investigating the death.

A state police lieutenant on Friday declined to comment on the investigation.

Related: Former West Michigan school administrator took more than $900,000 from district, police say

Wheeler was found unconscious around 8 p.m. The sheriff’s deputy, medical staff and Life EMS paramedics were unable to resuscitate him.

The police did not say how he died.

Wheeler was deputy superintendent. He was fired on November 22, 2021 and arrested the next day in Muskegon.

Grand Haven police investigated “irregularities in financial transactions” which led to criminal charges.

Investigation showed he created fake invoices for a fictitious company, Infinity Electric, for around $7,000 each time. He received checks from the accounts payable department saying he would personally remit the funds.

Investigators said he had taken more than $900,000 since 2014.

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