The school board will conduct its own investigation.
By DENISE DICK
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
CANFIELD -- A Canfield High School teacher and boys' baseball coach has been charged with 11 misdemeanor counts of gambling.
Anthony Ross, 39, Edwards Street, is scheduled to appear in Mahoning County Area Court here Friday morning. Detective Sgt. Andy Bodzak and Chief David Blystone were notified in early June about Ross, a teacher since 1989, conducting several Texas Hold 'Em tournaments to raise money for the baseball team during 2004 and this year.
The tournaments were conducted at Shangri-La, West Calla Road.
Police say Ross, who couldn't be reached, acknowledged to them that Canfield Baseball doesn't have the documentation from the Internal Revenue Service required to be classified as a charitable group permitted to conduct fund-raisers.
Ross also said that he had received authorization to conduct the tournaments from former Maj. Michael Budd of the Mahoning County Sheriff's office because they were for charitable purposes, police said.
Budd resigned from the department earlier this year and was convicted in federal court of violating inmates' civil rights and obstructing justice. He was sentenced to eight years in prison.
Ross told police, according to reports, that the group had obtained an attorney to help with filing the paperwork and obtaining the status.
According to what police compiled from records supplied by Ross, the group took in $60,480 in the tournaments, paying $48,600 to winners. Other expenses included hall rental and food.
Records showed that about $1,500 of the reported expenses went to student athletes for scholarships or participation in sports.
Schools Superintendent Dante Zambrini said the school board would conduct its own investigation.
"However, Mr. Ross enjoys a presumption of innocence, and it would be imprudent for the district to comment further unless or until the criminal matter is resolved and/or our own investigation is completed," he said.
Police also found that Canfield Baseball isn't registered with the Ohio attorney general's office as a charitable trust and there is no record that an agency under that name has ever submitted registration with that office.