On Air
0:00
0:00
Open In Popup
MPR News

Hastings assistant principal charged with embezzlement

Share story

Dakota County prosecutors have charged a Hastings High School assistant principal with 16 counts of embezzlement and theft.

According to the criminal complaint, Joshua Gerald McLay, 37, who was also the head wrestling coach, used more than $13,900 of district money to pay for travel expenses and tickets for several people to attend college football games.

The complaint says in 2011, McLay told the school district's accounting office that he was taking his coaching staff to Lincoln, Neb., for a coaching clinic and wanted to treat them to a University of Nebraska-Lincoln football game. The accounting supervisor told him he could be reimbursed for travel expenses to a coaching clinic but not for entertainment.

The complaint alleges McLay then took people to college football games in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2017, claimed the money was used to attend wrestling coaching clinics, but no coaching clinics took place during the trips.

McLay, who is not in custody, will have his first court appearance on April 8. McLay is still employed with the district and has not yet responded to a request for comment. 

Hastings Superintendent Tim Collins said in a statement that the Hastings school board entered into an agreement with McLay in November. Under the agreement, McLay will resign as wrestling coach at the end of the season, resign as assistant principal at the end of the school year and repay the money.

"The agreement is binding, pending the outcome of recent charges, and we are continuing to move forward with that agreement at this point in time," said Collins.