Former Texas Southern employees accused of stealing over $500K from university

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Former TSU employees accused of stealing $500K, Kevin Quinn reports. (KTRK)

Two former Texas Southern University employees are facing felony charges after allegedly stealing over $500,000 from the school.

A spokesperson for the Harris County District Attorney's office says Ashley Velasquez and Kennith Darden Jr. each face a charge of aggregate theft. According to court documents, the money was stolen between January 2012 and October 2014.

TSU says Velasquez quit her job last April after the allegations came to light against her.

Her attorney says that in his 23-plus years of practicing law, Velasquez is only his second client he's ever allowed to testify before a grand jury.

"I believe she is not guilty of this offense, otherwise I would have advised her not to testify," said attorney John T. Floyd.

RELATED: Former TSU employees indicted for allegedly stealing from university

He described her job as that of an administrative assistant.

Attorneys representing both Velasquez and Darden say each is making arrangements now for their surrender. Darden's attorney refused comment.

Sources told Eyewitness News that Velasquez and Darden were both indicted by a grand jury last Friday.

TSU students say you cannot get much lower than stealing from those who are trying to better themselves through education.

"We could have better improvement around the university," said student Abria Bagley.

"The whole purpose of college is to give back to the students so to steal from university is terrible," said freshman Jasmine Threatt.

Court documents are not all unsealed yet so details about how the $500,000 theft allegedly occurred are not public.
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