Offer made to former cheer coach in embezzlement case

Former SF State student and cheerleading coach Ashlee Haley walks out of the Hall of Justice on Friday Sept. 30, 2010 in San Francisco, Calif. Eric Soracco / staff photographer

Ashlee Nicole Haley, the former SF State cheer coach who is charged with 29 criminal offenses including one felony count of embezzlement, was set to have a recommendation for sentencing at 9 a.m. at the Hall of Justice Tuesday.

The recommendation will now take place on March 1 due to an offer made to Haley about her case.

“She wanted time to think it over so we could talk about the possible outcomes and consequences,” said Sujung Kim, the attorney representing Haley.

Haley, 24, is accused of accepting $20,000 from at least 20 University cheerleaders in funds for an optional cheer camp in Southern California. She then used the money to pay for rent, food and a trip to Las Vegas. She is charged with 12 counts of grand theft, 16 counts of obtaining money under false pretenses and one count of embezzlement, all of which she initially pled guilty to on Sept. 27, 2010.

None of the money she used was given to the cheer team by the University.

According to an e-mail from Sanaz Nikaein, the special district attorney for this case who specializes in large-sum embezzlement cases, the new court date will herald either a plea or the case will be set for a preliminary hearing.

The courtroom on the first floor was silent save for the sounds of shuffling papers and people. Others waiting for the judge sat slouched, some with their heads down, looking contemplative and nervous. Haley stood straight and stiff before the cheery Judge Jeff Ross, who entered with a slight smile on his face as he looked over at all sitting before him. He took the bench at around 9:15 a.m, followed by a nervous moment of silence before Kim asked that the case be rolled over to March.

The district attorney’s office said that no comment could be made about the offer until it is presented and discussed in open court.