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No jail time for former Surrey school official

Robert (Bob) Chadwick. - File Photo / The Leader
Robert (Bob) Chadwick.
— image credit: File Photo / The Leader

A former senior official with the Surrey School District will do no jail time and has been ordered to serve an 18-month conditional sentence for taking money from the district.

Robert (Bob) Chadwick pleaded guilty to breach of trust in Surrey Provincial Court on June 10 and was sentenced Monday afternoon.

Two other charges, theft over $5,000 and fraud over $5,000, were stayed. The same two charges against his wife, Barbara Chadwick (neé Moore), were also dropped.

Robert Chadwick's sentence includes an 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew for the first four months. He also requires written permission to travel outside B.C.

"This offence is clearly inconsistent with his previous career and achievements," said Judge James Donald Bahen in delivering the sentence. "He is remorseful and he pled guilty."

He noted Chadwick had no previous record and was unlikely to reoffend, but that the school district suffered from the loss of funds.

Chadwick, who was an associate superintendent, worked for the district for 18 years, but he and his then-administrative assistant Barbara Moore quit in 2006 after the district began investigating them for allegedly taking money from Surrey's international education program offered through San Diego State University (SDU), which Robert managed.

The court heard Chadwick set up an independent bank account without the school district's knowledge, depositing about $416,000 from SDU between July 2001 and June 2003. While most was deemed used for legitimate purposes, nearly $44,000 was unaccounted for.

Crown prosecutor Stephen Cooke had asked for a sentence between 18 months and two years, while defence lawyer Richard Rhodes requested less. Rhodes said Chadwick's life has already been impacted dramatically because he's been in the press, and noted his longtime passion for horse racing – something he planned to pursue further in retirement – has been curtailed as his licence was suspended by B.C. Gaming.

A civil lawsuit launched by the school district was settled out of court in March, with the Chadwicks paying $78,000 to the district.

 

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