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Compton schools official faces grand theft, forgery charges

May 4, 2009 | 11:49 am

The athletic director for Compton Unified School District has been charged with grand theft and forgery. He's accused of helping Dominguez High School basketball coach Russell Otis deposit a check from Nike into Otis' personal account.

Prosecutors claim Ernest Bernard Carr forged a letter purporting to be from the Dominguez Hills principal authorizing Otis to deposit a $15,000 check from Nike made out to the school district into Otis' personal bank account.

Carr, 60, is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Compton. He was arrested April 16 by school police and released on $20,000 bail.

Following an investigation by Compton school district police, Los Angeles County Deputy Dist. Atty. Angela Brunson filed an amended complaint, adding Carr as a co-defendant in the case against Otis.

Otis, who is on leave from his job, was charged in March with child molestation. He allegedly made unwanted sexual advances last year to a male under age 18. Later, grand theft, forgery and burglary charges were added. Police said  the 46-year-old coach allegedly received a stipend of more than $2,000 as a golf coach, even though Dominguez High had no golf program.

In addition, Otis allegedly received cash reimbursements of $2,500 between May 20 and June1, 2007, without providing proper receipts. Otis, who earlier pleaded not guilty to the charges, is scheduled to return to court May 19 to set a date for a preliminary hearing. He has been released from jail on $75,000 bail.

-- Richard Winton