Ernest Brown, Suncoast Community High School band director, has charges dropped

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - An Assistant Palm Beach County State Attorney has dropped charges against a Suncoast Community High School band director indicted on charges of fraud and misconduct.

Ernest Brown, 51, was accused of using school funds for himself, his family and his friends to travel to London and Paris -- trips that were intended to benefit high school students.

According to a report released in February of 2012, a grand jury investigation found that Brown hid his fraudulent activity by pulling funds from other school accounts, and used his position as a public servant to "deprive" non-band students use of their own funds."

Almost one year later, in a report dated January 29th, 2013, Assistant State Attorney Michael Rachel recommended that the prosecution against Brown be dropped for the following reasons:

1) At the time of the grand jury indictment the statute of limitations had run out.

2) The state could not prove that Brown committed an organized scheme to defraud.

3) The state could not prove Brown committed official misconduct.

The report also says the indictment of Brown does not name one victim in the case.


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