Former school worker charged in property theft

Published 8:00 pm Friday, May 18, 2012

The Brookhaven Police Department and an agent with the state Auditor’s Office arrested a former Brookhaven School District employee Wednesday for the alleged theft of school property, officials said.

     Laron D. Smith, 20, of 612 East Chickasaw Street, was charged with grand larceny for the theft of some metal filing cabinets, desks and chairs belonging to the Brookhaven School District. He was also charged by BPD with an unrelated possession of drug paraphernalia charge.

     Smith had been employed with the maintenance department at the district for about two years prior to the incident, said Superintendent Dr. Lisa Karmacharya.

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     Smith allegedly sold the stolen materials at a salvage yard on May 4, according to a statement issued by the auditor’s office. It’s unclear when the theft actually occurred.

     Karmacharya said she did not know how the theft was initially brought to the maintenance director’s attention. Once the maintenance director informed Karmacharya of the incident, she said the district’s attorney, Bob Allen, advised her to contact the state Auditor’s Office.

     “That way it’s completely out of our hands,” Karmacharya said.

     Smith was terminated following the incident.

     An investigation by the auditor’s office in concert with BPD led to Smith’s arrest, Karmacharya said.

     Smith was released from the Lincoln County Jail on a bond of $1,500.