Head of Peaster youth baseball association accused of theft

02/27/2014 9:56 PM

02/28/2014 7:13 AM

The president of a Parker County youth sports association has been accused of stealing more than $10,000 from team accounts, which has caused the group to cancel its 2014 baseball season, officials said Thursday.

Noe Joe McKinzie, 41, remained in the Parker County jail Thursday night facing a charge of misappropriation of fiduciary property, according to a news release from Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler. No bail had been set, the release said.

The money was supposed to be used to purchase uniforms, insurance, trophies and equipment, said Brett Carter, Peaster Baseball Association vice president.

“We will try to rebuild our association,” Carter said in a phone interview Thursday night. “We had a meeting tonight with the parents and told them what had happened. We will do what we can for the kids.”

The association’s accounts were supposed to remain virtually inactive until after registration, but people began reporting suspicious activity, Carter said. Board members contacted authorities earlier this month and reported that money was missing from the league’s savings and checking accounts.

Investigators found that McKinzie had access to the accounts and made withdrawals and purchases since January for his own use totaling about $10,000, the sheriff’s news release said.

McKinzie admitted taking $3,000 to make a down payment on a truck, and also used money to pay for cell phone bills and fast food, the release said.

The association’s board has canceled league activity for the 2014 season because of the lack of money and because the association is now several thousand dollars in debt, the release said.

The association will continue processing registration forms and try to determine how many young people want to play and how much money is left, Carter said.

In other seasons, more than 120 children have participated in sports activities organized by the association, he said.

People in the community have offered to do whatever they can to make sure the children are not disappointed, Carter said.

“The community has been very supportive,” Carter said. “We are trying to salvage what we can as quickly as possible.”

Fowler called the situation “heart-breaking.”

“They are young and cannot comprehend what happened,” Fowler said in the news release. “They only know they can’t play. The board members regretfully made a formal statement notifying the parents about the investigation and the inability to continue with the season.”

To help or for more information, call 817-304-0410.

Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752

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