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Former Grand Haven asst. superintendent found dead in Ottawa Co. Jail

Brian Wheeler, 56, was found unresponsive in the Ottawa County Jail on Thursday.

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. — The former assistant superintendent of Grand Haven Area Public Schools died at the Ottawa County Jail overnight, authorities say. 

Brian Wheeler, 56, worked at Grand Haven Area Public Schools for over two decades and was fired back in mid-November following an embezzling investigation.

He was accused of embezzling more than $1 million from the district over several years.

The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office responded to the jail after Wheeler was found unresponsive. An ambulance was called but despite efforts to revive him, he died at the scene.

The Michigan State Police was called, and their office is now investigating. 

His cause of death was not immediately clear. 

RELATED: Court docs: Former Grand Haven asst. superintendent stole nearly $1 million from school system

He pleaded no contest to the embezzling charge earlier this week. 

Grand Haven Area Public Schools Superintendent Scott Grimes released a statement about Wheeler's death:

“We extend our deepest sympathies to Mr. Wheeler’s family, who have been through so much over the past few months. They are first in our thoughts and prayers during this extremely difficult time. The entire situation has been deeply distressing for the GHAPS community.”

Wheeler had been scheduled to be sentenced in Grand Haven District court in February.

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