LAWRENCEVILLE — The treasurer of the Gwinnett Football League has been charged with theft for allegedly stealing $500 cash during a cheerleading tournament.
Rodney “Shane” Houston was arrested Sunday and charged with theft by taking, a misdemeanor. Gwinnett County Jail records show he was released the same day on $1,300 bond.
Houston — the treasurer of the Gwinnett Football League, a youth recreational football and cheerleading organization with more than 200 teams across the county — was reportedly working the ticket sales table Sunday at the Gwinnett Center during the GFL’s “cheer-off” event. According to an incident report filed by an off-duty sheriff’s deputy working the event, a volunteer allegedly spotted Houston “moving around” a stack of $20 bills in the cash box.
The volunteer said he saw Houston transfer the money between his hands before the $20 bills were “gone and were not returned to the cash box.”
Once confronted, authorities said Houston repeatedly denied the theft and turned his right pocket “partially inside out” while asked to empty his pockets. He ultimately pulled approximately $600 from the same pocket, authorities said, in two different stacks — one folded stack of 25 $20 bills, and another of several bills in mixed denominations.
His hands shook as he pulled the money out and claimed it was personal cash he had already possessed, the incident report said. After reportedly being told the GFL would not press charges if he returned the money, Houston “consistently maintained that the money was his.”
A ticket-taker working at the same table told authorities only that she wasn’t present the whole time Houston was.
GFL President Erik Richards directed questions regarding the case to a Duluth attorney, who could not be reached Tuesday.
Houston has resigned his post as treasurer of the GFL, officials said.
Calls to a phone number listed for Houston’s Buford home went unanswered Tuesday.