Local News

Former Wake school transportation chief out of prison

Posted October 22, 2012 11:29 a.m. EDT

— A former Wake County Public School System administrator is out of prison after serving time for a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme.

Vern Hatley, who headed the district's transportation department, pleaded guilty on Oct. 11, 2005, to charges of conspiracy and obtaining property by false pretense for his role in a scheme involving fake orders to Wilson-based automotive-parts supplier Barnes Motors & Parts. Employees in the department received kickbacks in the scheme.

Hatley later tried to withdraw his guilty plea, but a judge rejected the request. His ruling was later upheld by the state Court of Appeals.

He had admitted to accepting nearly $23,000 worth of items, including $11,000 in gift cards, from Barnes Motors & Parts.

Several other former transportation department employees and former Barnes employees also pleaded guilty in the case and received jail time.

It might never be known how much money the school system lost in the scheme, but the Wake County school system has recovered at least an estimated $5 million.