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Former Dayton Superintendent sentenced to two years for embezzlement

COVINGTON, Ky. (Joe Webb) -- Former Dayton School Superintendent, Gary Rye, will report to federal prison in June to begin a two-year sentence for embezzlement. 

Rye was sentenced Tuesday morning after pleading guilty to one count of embezzlement in December

"I think closure's great.  It's time to move on," current Dayton Superintendent Jay Brewer said after the sentencing on the courthouse steps.  "We're in the education business and lessons have certainly been learned through this."

Brewer uncovered Rye's financial dealings just a few months after he took over as Superintendent.  He immediately sought the help of the FBI and Kentucky State Auditor, Adam Edelen.  In March of 2013, Edelen released his findings that Rye had bilked the district of nearly $224,000 by manipulating his retirement contributions, falsifying travel expenses and abusing the district's gas card. 

As part of the settlement of a lawsuit filed by the district, Rye agreed to pay the district $473,000.  The independent auditor who missed Rye's embezzlement agreed to pay $38,500. 

Tuesday morning, Rye walked into court hand-in-hand with his wife Pam, knowing the sentence would likely be between 18 months and two years.  His attorney, Jon Alig, made one last plea for probation but District Judge David Bunning said from the bench that, "Justice does dictate incarceration." 

Bunning said Rye's embezzlement had a profound impact on the school district.  He added that the recent improvement in Dayton's test scores was not a coincidence.

Rye spoke briefly and apologized for shaming his family and creating a mess for the Dayton school board.

"We would have liked to hear him apologize to the students of Dayton but that didn't happen," School Board Chair, Rosann Sharon, told Local 12.  "He needed to apologize to the students because that's who he really hurt, the students."

Rye had nothing to say as he left the courthouse with his family.  He has asked that he be sent to either the federal penitentiary at Montgomery, Alabama or the facility in Pensacola, Florida.

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