Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ex-coach charged with stealing $27,000 in Illinois

The former Crystal Lake South athletic director and head football coach was charged Thursday with stealing $27,000 from vending machines and fundraising events in District 155 over the last four years.Jim Stuglis, who turned himself into police, also is accused of keeping money from ticket sales at playoff games. He was indicted by a McHenry County grand jury on 10 counts of felony theft and three counts of felony computer fraud.The indictment claims that on March 24, district officials told police that $9,000 was found in Stuglis’ office. An investigation revealed that he had hidden many thousands of dollars in vending machine proceeds from the athletic department, the document says.Stuglis also is alleged to have profited by sending lower attendance figures at certain playoff games to the Illinois High School Association and keeping the cash from the real number of tickets sold.Stuglis’ arrest comes more than six months after district officials became aware of possible illegal financial activities, authorities said.Before leaving in the summer under a release agreement approved by the Board of Education, Stuglis had worked in the district for 17 years. The agreement paid him salary through June 30 and his health insurance through Aug. 31. As athletic director, head football coach and physical education teacher, he made more than $135,000 last school year.The agreement was signed on June 15. He was put on administrative leave by Superintendent Jill Hawk in March, shortly after officials learned of possible wrongdoing, she said. The agreement stated that his resignation was not an admission of guilt and that police were investigating. But district officials offered no explanation into the subject of the investigation.“I know the community is upset because they don’t know everything that is going on,” board president Ted Wagner said in June. “Everybody has their right to privacy. What the board did, as an employer, we represented the community.”Jason Bott, a longtime physical education teacher at South who served as assistant athletic director last year, replaced Stuglis as athletic director. Former Gator defensive coordinator Chuck Ahsmann now serves as head football coach.Stuglis’ bond was set at $40,000. He faces prison time and substantial fines, and is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 27.

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