Cutler Bay athletic director accused of stealing from student-athletes

School IG says Alphonso Thomas stole from students for at least 2 years

CUTLER BAY, Fla. – A former South Florida high school athletic director was arrested Monday after he stole more than $3,000 from students for at least two years, an investigation revealed.

Alphonso Thomas faces a felony charge of grand theft.

An investigation by the Office of the Inspector General for Miami-Dade County Public Schools revealed that Thomas was stealing from student-athletes at Cutler Bay Senior High School while serving as athletic director during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years.

The investigation began after the OIG received an anonymous complaint from a parent.

According to a letter from Inspector General Mary T. Cagle to Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, Thomas collected money from 60 student-athletes during the 2014-15 academic calendar to purchase school board-approved health insurance. However, Thomas only deposited insurance premiums for 38 students, keeping $660 for himself and leaving 22 students uninsured, Cagle wrote.

File: IG report on Alphonso Thomas arrest

Thomas also took $30 for health insurance and $20 for an unapproved athletic fee from about 80 student-athletes during the 2015-16 academic calendar, but he never purchased the insurance, Cagle wrote.

Cagle said Thomas admitted to depositing a total of $3,240 of his students' money into his personal bank account.

Thomas, who had been an employee of Miami-Dade County Public Schools since 1988, turned himself in to police Monday morning and was later released on his own recognizance. A school district spokeswoman said Thomas retired in the midst of the investigation with an annual salary of $71,385.

About the Author:

Peter Burke returned for a second stint of duty at Local 10 News in February 2014.