Parents upset over alleged misuse of booster club funds - CBS46 News

Parents upset over alleged misuse of booster club funds

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(Sourse: WGCL) (Sourse: WGCL)
ATLANTA (CBS46) -

UPDATE: President Emmanuel Avraham issued the following statement retracting the statement he made about club treasurer Anthony Girtman and assistant club treasurer Wanda Gil.  

To Whomever May Be Reading This, 

?I am writing to correct a misunderstanding that I perpetuated.  As you may be aware, I previously had a disagreement with Wanda Gil and Anthony Girtman over the use of the Westlake HS Touchdown Club’s funds.  

Following a vote of the Club’s executive officers, Ms. Gil and Mr. Girtman removed funds from the Club’s bank accounts to make payments to the football team’s coaches. The removal of such funds was done in furtherance of the vote; however, there was confusion over the interpretation of the Club’s bylaws and disagreement regarding the appropriateness of the vote.  

As a result, I made misleading statements regarding Ms. Gil and Mr. Girtman’s actions, including statements that Ms. Gil and Mr. Girtman committed a crime and otherwise calling their character into question.

?I now realize that it was inappropriate for me to make such statements. At no time did Ms. Gil or Mr. Girtman ever personally gain from the removal of the Club’s funds.

?I respectfully ask that you disregard any statements I may have made to you or anyone else regarding Ms. Gil and Mr. Girtman.  Nothing I said should be held against them.  I hope that you will hold Ms. Gil and Mr. Girtman in the same regard as you did before this unfortunate series of events took place. 

Sincerely 

Emmanuel Avraham

 


Parents of players on the Westlake High School football team are outraged that thousands of dollars raised by the booster club were withdrawn from an account without proper permission.

“You did it fraudulently and you thought you could get away with it,” said one parent.

This parent and others spoke only to CBS 46, but did not want to be identified because their kids play for the team and are fearful of retaliation.

“If you take something that is not yours, you deserve to go to jail for it,” said another.

The football team is recognized for producing NFL stars like Cam Newton and Pac-Man Jones.

While the Westlake Lions continue their winning ways on the field, many parents now feel their kids are losing off the field.

Booster Club President Emmanuel Avraham said the club’s treasurer and assistant treasurer, who are husband and wife, withdrew more than $16,000 from the Touchdown Club bank account without proper approval and then distributed some of the money to coaches on the football team.

“Here’s a check for a coach for $1,000, here’s another check for $1,000, here’s another check for $2,000, another check for $2,000, another check for $2,000, another check for $2,000, here’s another check for $2,500 and the head coach $4,000 on top of what else he’s getting,” said Emmanuel.”

He has also filed a civil complaint in Fulton County Superior Court.

According to Avraham, the issue had come up for discussion at a prior meeting but was not approved.

Still, he said school principal Alexandra Bates sent an email signing off on the transaction stating the funds were to be used for various reasons, including summer pay for coaches.

“She should have never give authorization because this is not school funds,” said one parent.

CBS 46 tracked down Booster Club Treasurer Anthony Girtman last week to get his side of the story.

When asked why he withdrew $16,500 from the account he said “well that’s kind of Westlake Touchdown Club and you kind of caught me off guard. I have to check with the booster club to see how they want to handle that.”

Parents said “the coaches had a meeting with the players and told them don’t listen to the media, just play football. Don’t listen to what you’re hearing because what you’re hearing is not true.”

“We want the best for our kids and for another adult to come along and take that from them, it’s just not right and they should be prosecuted.”

With all of the controversy surrounding the funds, the Fulton County School District has suspended the Touchdown Club.

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