Former maintenance supervisor for Baker School System arrested a third time

Former maintenance supervisor for Baker School System arrested a third time
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Emmitt Whitfield (Source: Baker Police Department)
Emmitt Whitfield (Source: Baker Police Department)

BAKER, LA (WAFB) - The former maintenance supervisor accused of taking several items from the Baker School System has been arrested for a third time.

In an emotional scene with family, Emmitt Whitfield turned himself into Baker Police Tuesday night on more charges of felony theft for unauthorized use of a fuel card.

The arrest warrant stated that Whitfield purchased fuel on days when he was not scheduled to work and that did not match up with recorded driving distances. The total amount of fuel purchased by Whitfield was $2,106.34.

Whitfield was booked into the East Baton Rouge Prison. He is being held on a $4,000 bond.

Whitfield's family believes that others are involved and that he is being targeted.

"If he's going to serve justice, serve it right," his niece said to WAFB's camera.

A 9News Investigation detailed Whitfield's earlier arrests, which accuse him of buying tens of thousands of dollars' worth of odd items on the School District's tab. Police believe many of those items were pawned off. Click here to read more about what was stolen.

An audit ordered by Superintendent Ulysses Joseph revealed the extent of the alleged spending, which led to Whitfield's third arrest. Investigators say Whitfield has not been fully cooperative, and even more charges could surface.

"We're still continuing to investigate the whole matter. One of our biggest goals is to find out where the property is at and who else is involved," said Lt. Greg Brown with Baker Police.

Moments after Whitfield was arrested, the Baker School Board accepted the Superintendent's early retirement, which will go into effect May 28th. Joseph said the timing of his retirement has nothing to do with the ongoing theft investigations.

"I think that a lot of folks would say yes, but no. I simply want that guy caught and taken care of as far as justice is concerned. We turned everything over to the Baker Police," said Joseph.

In fact, Joseph applauded news of Whitfield's most recent arrest. As far as his reasons for leaving early, the Superintendent hinted at a lack of progress in the district.

"We just felt like sometimes things weren't going in the direction we wanted them to go in. I've said that a number of times. When you can't do anything about it, it's time to move on," said Joseph.

The School Board also took the first steps towards finding Joseph's replacement which include forming a search committee and establishing a timeline.

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