In a recent development, a former Bridgeport Bulls assistant coach, J.D. Bales, has been arrested on charges of theft of property, a third-degree felony. The arrest stems from an investigation conducted by Bridgeport ISD, revealing that Bales had purportedly used his district credit card to cover a bill exceeding $5,000 at The Men’s Club of Houston.
According to the Wise County Messenger, the school district’s inquiry, conducted over the summer, uncovered evidence of criminal activity, prompting local authorities to intervene. Bales resigned from Bridgeport ISD in September, a decision influenced by the district’s findings during the investigation. The misuse of taxpayer money was reportedly discovered when it was revealed that Bales had spent $5,455.81 at the Houston strip club while in town for a coaching clinic.
Bridgeport Police Chief Steve Stanford disclosed that Bales had initially claimed the charge was fraudulent, both with the school and the financial institution. However, a thorough investigation, considering evidence and the involvement of taxpayer money, led to a different conclusion.
“During the investigation, which included information that Bales had formerly claimed the charge was fraudulent (with both the school and the financial institution), investigators discovered evidence indicating a criminal offense occurred,” Stanford stated in a released statement on the arrest.
Despite Bales eventually submitting payment for the charge, the overwhelming evidence in the case, particularly its connection to taxpayer funds, led to the case being submitted to the Wise County District Attorney. Bales was released on a $10,000 bond following an indictment by a Wise County Grand Jury.
The Wise County Messenger noted that Bales had been hired by Bridgeport ISD in 2018 and also served as a special education teacher in the district. This arrest follows a separate incident involving six Bridgeport ISD soccer players who were recently arrested for alleged hazing activities directed towards newer players, including coercing them to strip, filming them, and making degrading comments.