Beaumont Independent School District’s West Brook High School Booster Club is undergoing drastic changes since it was revealed Friday, Feb. 14, that president Bo Kelley is being removed for allegedly stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the student athletics account. Vice president Joey Hilliard is stepping in as the acting president until the booster club board of trustees can appoint a selection committee to nominate a new booster leader.
“I found out Friday, and basically became the booster president,” Hilliard told The Examiner on Monday, Feb. 17. “We immediately filed a report with the bank and we have been informed that we will be able to be reimbursed some of the money.”
According to Hilliard, the bank has agreed to replace $17,000 that Kelley was able to take from a booster club bank account. At least another $12,000 in checks and charges is also missing from a separate account held by the booster club, Hilliard said. Certified accountants from the Wathen, DeShong and Junker auditing firm have been called in to thoroughly examine the bank accounts of the West Brook High School Booster Club. “Until we get a full audit, we have no idea exactly how much he has taken from the kids at this point,” Hilliard said. Once the total is known, he added, “We plan on going after him to the fullest extent of the law for what he stole from our boys.”
In the interim, Hilliard has been notifying booster members, school district personnel, and campus coaches and administrators.
“I’m just sickened by all of this. (Kelley) was my friend,” Hilliard said. “He was a dear friend to me but it doesn’t matter, he stole from our boys and he’s got to pay for it. That’s the way I feel about it.
“We need our money back. We aren’t going to stand for this.”
Hilliard said that Kelley admitted to him that he stole the money, and that the process of embezzling the booster club money has been going on for roughly one year.
A call to Kelley’s cell phone for comment went unanswered.