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Man awaiting sentence in embezzlement case dies in jail

His death was being investigated by the state police.

A man has died in a western Michigan jail days after pleading no contest in the theft of more than $900,000 from a school district where he worked.

Brian Wheeler, 56, was pronounced dead Thursday night in the Ottawa County Jail in West Olive after deputies responded to a medical incident, the sheriff’s office said Friday in a release.

Wheeler of Muskegon was found unresponsive about 8 p.m. Deputies, jail medical services and paramedics were unable to resuscitate him, according to the sheriff’s office.

His death was being investigated by the state police.

Wheeler entered his plea Monday in an embezzlement case in the Grand Haven school district where he was technology director. A no-contest plea isn’t an admission of guilt but is treated as such at sentencing.

He was scheduled for sentencing in late February.

District staff discovered in November that bond money for the technology department was missing. Wheeler was fired after failing to appear for interviews.

Investigators said he created bills, picked up checks and deposited the money in his accounts as far back as 2014.