By Denise Dick
A police investigation into a reported locker-room champagne celebration by Cardinal Mooney football players is expected to take up to two weeks.
Representatives from the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown met Friday morning with city Police Chief Rod Foley, city Prosecutor Jay Macejko and a juvenile court prosecutor to discuss the alleged incident.
“We just gave them the information and they’re going to do whatever they have to do,” said Nicholas Wolsonovich, acting superintendent of diocese schools.
He said he doesn’t know how many students may have been involved.
“We had detailed conversations about the incident, and we exchanged some information and some ideas about where the investigations could lead,” Macejko said. “Chief Foley indicated he was going to assign someone to follow up on a few open questions that we had, and once all of the investigation is complete, we will — we meaning city officials — sit down and discuss it amongst ourselves and then meet again with the diocese.”
After Mooney’s Dec. 2 state championship win, the diocese received reports of students drinking champagne in the school locker room after the game.
Four students already have been issued one-day suspensions after smoking cigars in the school courtyard during a post-game celebration, but in a move of solidarity, 41 football players said they would serve the suspension, too. Smoking violates school policy.
After receiving the reports of alcohol being consumed, the diocese conducted an internal investigation.
Foley said he’s assigned two investigators to build upon the diocese investigation.
He named two investigators because of the number of people that are expected to be interviewed. Part of the investigation will involve how students obtained the alcohol if it’s determined they were drinking it.
“We’re going to look at the facts we find and determine whether it’s ripe enough for a criminal case or if it’s better to handle it by the school administratively or both,” Foley said.