FARMINGTON — A Piedra Vista High School employee has been charged with felony embezzlement.

Charles Patrick Cheney, 48, was arrested June 23 for allegedly embezzling funds from the Turano-Chrisman Performing Arts Theater, according to a press release from the Farmington Police Department.

Cheney has been the theater manager at the high school since 2010 and taught advanced theater classes at the school.

The theater, which is part of Farmington Municipal Schools, is often rented out to local businesses for events.

As part of his job, Cheney would send money from theater rentals to the school district's financial department.

The school district discovered the missing funds after a business owner, inquiring about renting the facility, brought a suspicious email to the district's attention.

Cheney allegedly embezzled more than $2,500.

Detectives issued a warrant for his arrest on June 19 and he was arrested four days later.

Ted Lasiewicz, the chief of operations for the school district, said a new theater director has been hired to replace Cheney, who had resigned earlier this year after being accepted to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.

Cheney had originally planned on working for the school district through the fall semester before moving to England.

Lasiewicz said he could not comment on the exact amount of money stolen, when the embezzlement occurred or whether there were multiple incidents.

Police are asking people who might have information about the case to call the detective division at 505-599-1141.

Police spokeswoman Georgette Allen said the police do not necessarily suspect there were additional incidents, but are doing a thorough investigation.

Hannah Grover covers news, arts and religion for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and Follow her @hmgrover on Twitter.