Witnesses Testify At Richard Como’s Preliminary Hearing

WEST CHESTER, PA – The criminal case against former Coatesville Area School District Superintendent Richard Como opened a new chapter Friday in a lengthy preliminary hearing at the Chester County Justice Center.

The former superintendent, who abruptly retired at the start of the 2013 school year amid the discovery of racist and sexist text message exchanges with the district’s athletic director, faces a slew of felony theft charges resulting from a nearly yearlong grand jury investigation that concluded late last year.

On Friday prosecutors from the Chester County District Attorney’s Office called several witnesses in an effort to put forward enough evidence to send the case to trial.

Como is accused of defrauding the district out of thousands of dollars during his time as superintendent. While a large portion of the alleged thefts revolve around the purchase of championship football rings, many of the charges stem from a series of alleged smaller thefts that plagued the district for years.

Read more:

http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20150227/witnesses-testify-at-richard-comos-preliminary-hearing

Coatesville School Board President Resigns

Caln Township, PA – Amid speculation that the Chester County District Attorney’s grand jury investigation of two former district administrators is nearing completion, Coatesville Area School Board President Neil Campbell resigned from his post Tuesday.

“This decision was difficult as I enjoyed representing the district as well as members of the community,” Campbell said in his statement addressed to the school board dated Nov. 25. “I truly appreciate those that elected me to serve and it was an honor.”

Campbell’s resignation was announced before the school board meeting commenced. His resignation was effective immediately, according to school district officials.

Read more: http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20141126/coatesville-school-board-president-resigns

Coatesville’s Como A Steady Success – Until The Texting

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Around noon on Father’s Day, Steve Brazzle texted Rich Como, his onetime principal at Coatesville High School.

“Happy Father’s Day pop pop,” Brazzle wrote, poking fun at Como’s age.

“My son!” replied Como, 67. “Much appreciated and thanks as always for remembering me. That does mean so much.”

Brazzle, who is black, wrote back: “Of course. Thanks for being who you are.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20130929_Coatesville_s_Como_a_steady_success_-_until_the_texting.html#5UA4BoiZe55G1ksd.99

Votes Of 2 Coatesville Area School District Board Members Remain Unknown After Stormy Meeting

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

More than 24 hours after the Coatesville Area School Board voted to accept the retirement of its superintendent and the resignation of its athletic and activities director, the votes of two of its board members are still unknown.

The school board on Tuesday night hastily voted 6-to-1 to accept the retirement of former CASD superintendent Richard Como and resignation of former high school Athletic and Activities Director Jim Donato, after both men were found exchanging racially-charged text messages about students and staff using district-issued phones.

School board members Joe Dunn, James Fox, Bill Sweigart, Paul Johnson, Laurie Knecht, and school board President Neil Campbell voted to approve all items on the agenda. Dr. Tanya Thames Taylor was the lone board member who voted against.

According to Campbell, board member Diane Brownfield and board Vice President Rick Ritter were unable to attend the meeting. He said Brownfield recently broke her leg, while Ritter was away in Seattle on business. He said that both members were conferenced into the three-hour meeting.

Read more: http://www.dailylocal.com/social-affairs/20130926/votes-of-2-casd-board-members-remain-unknown-after-stormy-meeting

Pottstown Teacher Reinstated After Sex Charges Dropped

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN, PA — The Pottstown School Board voted unanimously Monday night to reinstate a suspended middle school teacher in the wake of last week’s announcement that the sexual abuse charges against him had been dropped.

In June, township police charged Jared Leimeister, 33, of North Coventry, with inappropriate contact with an 8-year-old girl, who spent time with Leimeister between October 2012 and February 2013.

Leimeister, an eighth grade science teacher at Pottstown Middle school, had been charged with endangering the welfare of a child, corruption of minors and indecent assault of a person less than 13 years old.

On Aug. 19, the school board suspended Leimeister without pay until the matter was resolved.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20130924/pottstown-teacher-reinstated-after-sex-charges-dropped

Superintendent, Athletic Director Out In Coatesville

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Coatesville school board officials Tuesday announced that the district’s superintendent and a senior athletic director had resigned – and that they could not comment further because of an ongoing investigation by the Chester County District Attorney’s Office.

In a brief statement, board officials said Richard Como, the superintendent, and Jim Donato, Coatesville Area Senior High School director of athletics and activities, had submitted letters of resignation.  The board is to vote on those letters Sept. 24.

Como initially announced his retirement two weeks ago in a post on the district website.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20130911_Superintendent__athletic_director_out_in_Coatesville.html#ViyjYV7yX25EU21A.99