Former Liberty School superintendent arrested in Florida

A former Liberty school superintendent was arrested and booked into a Florida jail late last night on a Missouri warrant for two counts of stealing relating to his tenure with the district.

William Scott Taveau, 60, of Hudson, Fla., was arrested by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office and booked into the Land O’ Lakes, Fla, detention center about 9:45 p.m. Wednesday, according to booking information on the sheriff’s website.

He was being held on Missouri charges of two counts stealing, according to the booking information. The arrest warrant is regarding an indictment handed down in Clay County.

A Clay County grand jury indicted Taveau Tuesday on one count each of stealing by deceit and attempted stealing by deceit. Both charges are felonies.

In the count referring to stealing by deceit, the indictment alleges that Taveau improperly received benefit payments from the Missouri Public School Retirement System while serving as superintendent.

The attempted stealing by deceit charge alleges that Taveau claimed he was entitled to 20 days of vacation from the Liberty school district, which was more than he was entitled to.

Taveau was superintendent of the Liberty school district from 1999 to 2006.

The criminal indictment is the result of a police investigation of the district’s financial matters. The issues raised in a recent private audit report given to the school board range from unauthorized use of school property or credit cards, worth a few hundred dollars, to mismanagement of multimillion-dollar construction contracts.

Liberty police said the Liberty School Board requested the investigation. It will occur in cooperation with a state audit that began in August.

Police started with the written Westbrook & Co. audit report that was given to the board and released to the public on July 14. School board officials later notified Clay County Prosecutor Daniel White and then U.S. Attorney John F. Wood in a letter that the district has asked law enforcement officials to investigate.

The Westbrook report raised issues about credit card spending for personal use, the purchase of alcohol and expensive meals, questionable expense reimbursement requests, circumventing of construction project bidding and overall management of the district’s financial affairs.