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The Roanoke Times (Virginia)


Embezzlement-related charges filed against a former Northside High School football coach have been dropped by the Roanoke County prosecutor 's office.

Burt Torrence, who resigned last year after a decade with the school, had been facing multiple counts of felony embezzlement, embezzlement of public funds and obtaining money by false pretenses.

The prosecutor's office moved to drop those charges June 29, according to information from the court clerk's office.

Commonwealth's Attorney Randy Leach said Wednesday he couldn't comment in detail but noted that Torrence has been cooperative with authorities and paid restitution in full to the county.

Torrence unexpectedly resigned his post as head football coach in spring 2016 and later spoke at a school board meeting during which he said he'd made a mistake by accepting a track coaching stipend for two seasons without coaching.

"I sincerely apologize to you," he said at the meeting. "I was wrong. It's the right thing to do in front of you, with my parents and players around me, to openly admit that."

He offered to repay the money. Roanoke County police said an investigation was launched the day after the board meeting.

In interviews later that year, both Torrence and his then-attorney, Les Bowers, said Torrence never admitted wrongdoing.

Torrence received the track stipend for a total of four seasons and coached the student athletes in the school weight room, Bowers said.

Fewer track athletes used the weight room during the last two seasons due to the preferences of new team coaches, he said, but Torrence fulfilled his duties.

Torrence's current attorney of record, Tony Anderson, didn't immediately return messages left late Wednesday.

The case against Torrence could be revived in the future, but Leach said Wednesday he has no current plans to seek new charges.

Torrence paid a total of about $7,800 in restitution to Roanoke County, Leach said.

Torrence took a job with Lynchburg City Schools last August. He was placed on administrative leave from his position as assistant football coach at Heritage High School in December and was reinstated by the school board on Tuesday.

The (Lynchburg) News & Advance contributed to this report.

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July 13, 2017


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