Audit: Fayette County Cheerleading Coach Used Cheerleading Fees on Himself

“The money is there.

It’s a cheerleading fee.

I think I will steal it and use it on me.”

Nope — the high school cheerleaders in Fayette County are unlikely to recite this cheer anytime soon. But Fayette Ware High School Cheerleading Coach Jimmy Wilson may have had those thoughts running through his mind, according to a new audit.

Tennessee Comptrollers didn’t exactly roll out their Pom poms for Wilson, of Somerville, in the audit, released Thursday.

According to that audit, Wilson took at least $2,500 meant for high school cheerleaders and used it on himself.

Members of the Fayette County Grand Jury indicted Wilson this month on charges of theft of property $2,500 to $10,000 and misconduct and tampering with government records.

The Tennessee Star was unable to reach Wilson Thursday.

A Jimmy Wilson whose home phone number is listed in that county had a disconnected phone line. Wilson apparently has no active social media profiles.

“All of the money should have been turned over to the school; however, during an interview with investigators, the former coach admitted to using bad judgment by comingling cheer funds with his personal funds. Most of the money collected was in the form of cash,” Comptrollers wrote in a press release.

“Wilson also admitted that he didn’t provide all of the cheer attire that was ordered by the students, and he acknowledged that he does owe some money back to the school.”

Fayette Ware High School had established procedures for safeguarding student activity funds. But Comptrollers said school officials failed to enforce them. This, they added, allowed Wilson to misappropriate money without the school’s prompt detection.

“It is critical that schools maintain receipts, logs, and other documentation for money that is collected,” Comptroller Justin P. Wilson said in a statement.

“By not following the appropriate guidelines and procedures, things slip through the cracks and funds that should be allocated to students go missing.”

Investigators interviewed school personnel and school cheerleaders. They also reviewed the coach’s personal bank statements, personal invoices and receipts the coach prepared related to the payment of cheerleading fees, the audit said.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]

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One Thought to “Audit: Fayette County Cheerleading Coach Used Cheerleading Fees on Himself”

  1. Traditional Thinker

    A 400lb man coaching cheerleaders? No, that’s not very odd, or convenient.