A third-degree felony theft charge has been filed against former Roosevelt Junior High science teacher Ken G. Yama, 48, of Roosevelt.

According to Sixth District Court records, Yama is accused of misusing money collected by junior high students last spring as part of a fund raiser for the science department.The Duchesne County School District released Yama from his duties as a 7th and 8th grade science teacher on Aug. 27, just three days after school began "for improprieties that dealt with the fund raiser." According to District Superintendent John Aland, Yama has been "suspended without pay" until Sept. 11 at which time his suspension will become permanent. He does have the right to appeal the termination. Yama was serving as the chairman of the science department at the time he is accused of misusing the money.

The school district became aware that the estimated $11,000 raised through the retail sale of jewelry last spring was missing when teachers returned to school in mid-August and learned the science equipment and computer software which they were told would be purchased with the money, had not been ordered.

The school district began an investigation into possible violations of its policies, codes and ethics law. When officials began to suspect criminal activity they called police who began a separate investigation, said Aland.

The school district found "multiple violations" and made the determination to fire Yama even before police filed the criminal charge last week.

Yama has repaid all the money to the school district and to the fund raising company, said Aland.