Wilson County sheriff’s school resource officer Greg Lasater, who is also an elected member of the Wilson County Board of Education, resigned his seat on the school board, as well as his position with the sheriff's office, Thursday afternoon after it was revealed he is under investigation for apparent theft.
School board chairman Don Weathers confirmed the school board resignation.
"I received phone confirmation from his attorney," Weathers said. "The county commission will have to approve his replacement, but I will have to get with [board attorney Mike] Jennings to determine what those steps are," Weathers said. "This kind of thing doesn’t happen too often, so I’m unsure what the process is at this time."
Lasater's letter of resignation from the school board was sent to Weathers and Wilson County Director of Schools Mike Davis and copied to Wilson County Administrator of Elections Phillip Warren.
"It has been a great honor serving the members of our community and their children over these past years," Lasater said in the letter. "After careful consideration and out of respect for this board and those many families of our community, I hereby respectfully tender my resignation from the Board of Education effective immediately."
Sheriff Robert Bryan confirmed his resignation as deputy and school resource officer also Thursday afternoon.
Jennings said the Wilson County Commission must be notified of the vacancy 10 days before its next regular meeting, and the vacancy appear in public notice seven days before the meeting. According to state law, the commission will appoint a replacement at its July 15 meeting to serve the remainder of the term, which ends in August 2016.
"They can accept nominations, any commissioner can make a nomination and nominations can be made from the floor, but the person nominated has to be present to accept it," Jennings said.
Lasater's resignation came just hours following Bryan's confirmation Thursday morning of a month-long investigation involving Lasater and discrepancies in gas purchases in his job as deputy and school resource officer. Bryan said the investigation was complete and would be turned over to District Attorney Tommy Thompson on Friday.
“I’m not going to tolerate this,” Bryan said. “We found there was a problem, and we investigated it. I have a responsibility as sheriff to uphold the law. We will not tolerate any wrong doing on anyone’s part.”
Bryan said Lasater was suspended without pay pending the outcome of the case.
“I have to commend my investigators,” Bryan said. “They got right to it.”
Thompson said he was made aware of the investigation recently.
“It hasn’t been brought to me on paper yet, but I expect that this week,” Thompson said. “As I understand it, the investigating officers have handled it well.
“It will be treated just like any other case and will be sent to the grand jury. If the investigation is complete, it will be likely be taken up by the grand jury that meets next week. It’s a shame to have officers in trouble.”
Lasater is a 26-year veteran Wilson County deputy and school resource officer.
Lasater said he couldn’t comment on the allegations.
“I would rather not at this time,” he said. “I will at the appropriate time. It’s probably in my best interest not to, but I will in due time.
“I’m ashamed and embarrassed, but I have to move on.”
Though he had not officially qualified to run, Lasater has said he planned to run for circuit court clerk in 2014.
“All that is on hold until all this is over,” Lasater said.
Lasater's former school board zone 5 covers Lebanon and areas in north Wilson County.