Boosters confirm disappearance of funds from account
By Jordan Cohen
An attorney representing a high school football boosters organization has confirmed the disappearance of funds from one of the group’s checking accounts and the resignation of the organization’s president.
Atty. Patrick Parry, in a brief news release Tuesday, said the money was discovered missing from an account held by the Niles Frontliners — a group of athletic boosters who support the McKinley High School Red Dragons. Parry’s release did not specify the missing amount.
“I don’t know the amount, and I’m not certain where it all went,” said Mark Robinson, Niles school superintendent. “They’re an organization separate from the school and they do their own fundraising.”
Parry, who declined to provide any information other than that contained in his news release, said that the organization’s president, James Mullen, has resigned and that “the investigation and efforts to recover the missing money are ongoing.” Attempts to contact Mullen were unsuccessful.
Niles Police Chief Robert Hinton said his department has yet to be called into the case. “We’ve had no theft report filed with us,” Hinton told The Vindicator on Tuesday.
Parry’s release said the organization’s treasurer was the first to discover the funds were missing. The treasurer, whom the release did not identify, is Tim Parry, the legal counsel’s brother. Robinson said that the treasurer acted quickly.
“They addressed the problem as soon as they found there might be improprieties, and they’ve been really good about it,” Robinson said.
Tim Parry also is the chairman of the Rein Stadium Renovation Committee, which last May received a $200,000 donation from the Cafaro Corp.
The attorney’s news release said the missing Frontliners’ money “is wholly unrelated to the ongoing efforts of the Rein committee to renovate Rein Stadium.”
The legal counsel said that the group will have a “members only meeting” Thursday to replace Mullen as president and that the Frontliners will continue to support the high school football team.
Robinson said that he plans to discuss the situation with the board of education.
“It is a club that raises money on behalf of our kids and the schools, I feel we need to stay close to this,” the superintendent said.
“I don’t know that anybody really knows the exact amount that is missing.”