City worker dismissed after no contest plea

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

TRENTON — A school athletic director and part-time city employee was sentenced to probation last week after pleading no contest to embezzlement charges.

Bret Alan Woodley, 40, faced two charges of embezzlement after allegations were made this summer that he’d taken money from the city of Trenton while working part-time at Kennedy Aquatic Center. A felony charge was dismissed by Wayne County Circuit Court Judge James Chylinski Wednesday, and Woodley entered a no-contest plea to the misdemeanor charge.

Woodley was terminated from his position with the city on Thursday. City Administrator Jim Wagner said the at-will employee was let go, “Based upon the results of our investigation and plea of no contest.” The part-time position did not include benefits or pension entitlements.

Woodley was suspended from Trenton High School following his August arraignment in 33rd District Court. Trenton Public Schools Supt. Rodney Wakeham said Woodley had been placed on paid, administrative leave from his positions as assistant principal and athletic director.

Wakeham said last week that Woodley’s status remained the same.

“At this point he’s still on paid administrative leave as we continue to investigate all matters related to this case,” Wakeham said. No timeline was given for a final determination.

Last month, Wakeham appointed Anderson Elementary School Principal Douglas Mentzer as interim A.D.

Police Chief James Nardone said the investigation began in July, the amount taken was believed to be between $1,000 and $20,000, and that it was a one-time incident.

(James Mitchell can be reached at jmitchell@bewickpublications.com.)

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