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Mooney parents avoid charges in football fete

Published: Sat, January 21, 2012 @ 12:04 a.m.

By Denise Dick



Four Cardinal Mooney High School parents who admitted bringing cigars and champagne onto school property apologized to the students, faculty and alumni at an assembly Friday, but no criminal charges will be filed.

The Catholic Diocese of Youngstown asked city police to investigate the incidents that occurred at the school after the football team’s state championship Dec. 2.

The police investigation found that four adults admitted bringing cigars and champagne onto school grounds when the team arrived from the game that was played in Canton, Nick Wolsonovich, superintendent of schools for the diocese, said at a Friday news conference.

The city prosecutor’s office declined to press charges against the adults, leaving it to the diocese to reach a resolution, he said.

“The parents were very remorseful,” Wolsonovich said.

They got caught up in the excitement of the win, he said.

The parents appeared at a school assembly Friday afternoon, which was closed to the press.

“They read letters of apology to the school for the situation that they caused, and they did an authentic job of conveying their remorse, regret and deep apology,” the superintendent said.

He said he was proud of the school community and that the school is ready to move on from the incident.

A state championship celebration that had been planned for last month was postponed when the allegations of cigars and champagne surfaced. It hasn’t been determined whether it will be rescheduled, Wolsonovich said.

The parents, whose names weren’t released, also will contribute to an anti-drug and alcohol program at the school, he said.

Wolsonovich said the police investigation found no evidence of a plan to consume the champagne, adding that no cups were found.

“They wanted to shake and spray it,” he said.

The cigars were present during a bell-ringing celebration outside the school. Four students were directed to serve a one-day suspension, but about 40 students served the suspension in a move of solidarity, the diocese has said.

The champagne was brought into the school locker room, and the whole team was present.

Wolsonovich said that although some people believed the diocese was making too much of the incident, the school has rules and tobacco and alcohol are prohibited on school grounds.


1lumper(291 comments)posted 4 years ago

money, money, money. always buys you justice in youngstown.

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2republicanRick(1578 comments)posted 4 years ago

It took 7 weeks for the parents to step forward? Sounds like they hid the truth until it was clear they were going to be outed and exposed. Why did they not have the courage to step forward immediately?

Typical... they do not PRACTICE the Catholic values they claim to possess.

If you are going to tell everyone you have high values, then the parents and students should start practicing what they preach. Their behavior does not match their words and that is what makes so many people in the community upset at this school. They can, and should, do better.

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3republicanRick(1578 comments)posted 4 years ago

A coverup by the parents did take place.
"Police stress they do not believe the students ended up drinking the alcohol. But they also confirmed some of the adults involved were not very forthcoming in their initial statements, but ultimately had a change of heart after investigators explained the seriousness of the situation".

As long as you give money at Mooney, everything is solved.
"The parents also agreed to donate money to the school's anti-drug program and perhaps other community agencies that have anti-tobacco and anti-alcohol programs."

Those are some Catholic values on display !!

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4chuck_carney(499 comments)posted 4 years ago

Is there now an eleventh commandment exempting the privileged from conyibuting to the deliquency of minors?

Unbelievable result obtained with deft of hand among the diocese, the Superintedent, Jay Macejko and the YPD. This is not the message we need to send to our catholic school children

My contributions to the St. Columba will be reduced in proportion to the funding the catholic schools receive. The excess will go to more worthy group.

I wonder if Paul Gaines will seize the opportunity to raise this as an issue against Jay.

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5republicanRick(1578 comments)posted 4 years ago

24 bottles were brought into locker room. Mooney said no paper cups were present, so no one drank the booze.

Next time my buddy brings over a six-pack of beer, I'm going to stare at it and say "how can I possibly drink this beer, you didn't bring any cups!".

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6LisaJane(4 comments)posted 4 years ago

As a teacher and a Catholic I am saddened and embarrassed by this double standard. What message are we sending to students? If you have the money...do as you please?????? I will no longer support the bishop and his quest for diocesan funding. But,oh, wait...he doesn't need me he has those deep pocket parents and their supporters.

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7kensgirl(983 comments)posted 4 years ago

Paul Gaines doesn't need such a soppy little story such as this to win an election. Jay is losing it all by himself.

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8steelwagon(284 comments)posted 4 years ago

So some bottles of champagne were shaken and sprayed....
A few kids were seen ringing the bell with unlit cigars in their mouths....

I'm sure hell has a special place reserved just for them and their parents who provided the means for such unholy and sinful activites...

For shame for shame !!!!!
Good thing nothing was blow out of proportion here.
Sorry holy rollers ...now please go diassemble the gallows and put your cat of nine tails away

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9kensgirl(983 comments)posted 4 years ago

No one ever said anything about the drug busts at Boardman during this time. Talk about bias. People were acting like Mooney kids were shooting Schedule one drugs into their veins on camera. This wouldn't have made press if it were any other school. So go ahead and call me a bad parent, a bad Catholic or just whatever you want I don't care. The media in this town is in desperate financial crisis and they will do anything for a story. So sad. We as a valley should rally around each other in good times and bad, not take an opportunity to start WWIII. If we're going to fight amongst ourselves nothing will ever get done. Don't be a hater. Let's move on people once and for all.

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10redvert(2211 comments)posted 4 years ago

How shameful, it seems that winning is the only thing that is important anymore. Next thing we know this attitude will become common on college campuses........Oh! never mind!!!

ps: This state championship could be the ticket for some of these players to join the "God Squad" at ND soon.

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11southsidedave(5172 comments)posted 4 years ago

This decision does not surprise me; but it show the mindset of our society.

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12ConServRep(16 comments)posted 4 years ago

This school is very fortunate that the current story is so muted. It could have been headlined: Investigation finds alcohol use was :celebratory only," Donations made, faculty off the hook.

And where did the donations go? Not to the taxpayers who footed the "investigation".

After all this, you'd think the diocese would give that principal a prepared script, but his new statements just keep this farce going strong. "the cigars and champagne were used for celebratory purposes only." That's a statement we should all file away for future use. "No cups were found" - meaning it's a good thing they just passed the bottles. "Four parents took full reponsibility" - meaning, twe managed to keep the faculty off the hook and control that damage. So, if they could pull this deal off, why can't they control this guy's statements?

For the people who think this story is over-hyped and question the difference in coverage between this and contraband found at other schools, here are the facts: Contraband at schools is not news, unfortunately. Parents providing it in a school setting is big news. When a principal excuses it, it's an ever bigger story. When faculty is involved as well, it's a front page story.

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13republicanRick(1578 comments)posted 4 years ago

Dimebag - the problem isn't that kids had tobacco and alcohol, it's that the parents lied about it, condoned it, covered it up. Plus, the school administrators and coaches covered it up, made excuses, and tried to brush it aside.

Sad excuse for a supposedly religious school. Plus, the other parents are too intimidated to speak up for fear of retribution by the coaches and Godfather Bucci. "Sonny, never go against the family".

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14kensgirl(983 comments)posted 4 years ago

So I now hear that finding drugs at other valley schools isn't news? When did THEY get a free pass? How about the 3 girls who tore into a minority student at one of the suburban schools recently? Didn't even make copy. So race crimes don't even count anymore either, huh? I guess the media tells us who to hate and when to hate them. We'll just follow like sheep. Might as well put A naked Kardashian on the cover of the Vindy to boost sales next!

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15YtownSports(300 comments)posted 4 years ago

I'm not sure what the appropriate penalty should be for the parents. What laws cover non-criminal bad judgment?
I agree with those who say this story is small potatoes compared to the virtually ignored drug cultures at many of the area's public schools...including some which get "excellent" ratings from the state. How about some real investigative reporting?

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16YtownSports(300 comments)posted 4 years ago

P.S. - Those parents should admit publically who they are and apologize not just to the students, but to the community for creating a bad impression about the team and the school. (No - I not connected with Mooney.)

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17ConServRep(16 comments)posted 4 years ago

If the Mooney people really can't understand the news making difference between parents and staff providing (and defending) contraband at a high school, and incidents at other schools where contraband has been discovered, then I guess that's an explanation for how the parents and staff could really have been that dumb in the first place. The mind set that all this is caused because of jealousy of Mooney's status/accomplishment will guarantee their offspring will be as mentally undeveloped as their elders.

Mooney's misguided attempt to sanitize this situation by passing it through a farcial public "investigation" may be saving some faculty jobs, but has only provided more entertainment with this nonsense about the alcohol only being used for "celebratory" purposes, a phrase that apparently seemed handy to these clowns from the use of alcohol for sacramental purposes. A huge mess that could have been answered by a simple admission and a deserved firing.

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18ConServRep(16 comments)posted 4 years ago

And, by the way, do people really think the drug situation at other schools is any different at Mooney? The difference is that the other schools conduct searches. Mooney doesn't.

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19lumper(291 comments)posted 4 years ago

the four parents should have been charged, brought to court and fined 10 dollars for being a&^holes. the cost of an attorney and public shame would have been just punishment.

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20kensgirl(983 comments)posted 4 years ago

YtownSports - REALLY??? If Mooney parents did that then ALL parents (including sperm donor dads) whose kids bring drugs to school, are out walking the streets with guns and are just plain thugs should apologize to the community!! They're the ones who should apologize to society for the vermin they bring to our community. I hardly doubt you'll find a Mooney student walking around pushing a baby carriage with an AK47 under the baby like was previouslyy reported on! What school did THAT thug go to???

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21taxme(360 comments)posted 4 years ago

kensgirl you need to wake up to reality. Quit deverting attention by saying things about othe schools. like the one poster said if the dogs visited mooney they would turn up drugs plain and simple. And guns.... remember the kids that shot themselves a couple years ago? Your school is just another school. nothing special!

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22kensgirl(983 comments)posted 4 years ago

Those two boys committed suicide. They're families are still reeling from the pain. You threw a cheap shot on 2 kids who cannot defend themselves. Shame on you. Anytime one of our youth commits suicide it is a deep tragedy.
And by the way I wasn't diverting attn. to other schools. Why do THEY get a free ride? Talk about unfairness! If you think I don't live in reality you're wrong. My husband suffered through Youngstown reality for 35 years. I did my part too for thirteen years working with unmanageable kids. I know reality when I see it. But through it all my husband used to say "Don't end up a hater". Don't keep hatred in your soul. We all have our differing opinions and that's our right. Let's finally stop berating each other and help solve more impt. problems.

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23rememberwhen(9 comments)posted 4 years ago

What is so sad is that if we get caught up in the excitement of it all we should simply be forgiven of all our acts. The 4 parents are remorseful. Please isn't everyone remorseful when they get caught. Ask all the people in jail when they find God how remorseful they are and I am sure they would also tell you they got caught up in the excitement of it all. Why did the Vindy not post their names? Where is the media when you really need them. This is 4 special people in the community of Mooney that have now showed their power in the Catholic schools. Yes, we all know who they are , and they have now gotten away with what we are all use too. How sad for our Diocese not to get involved with this. I am sure that the 40 families of these kids have been told mums the word. If you say something you may not be invited to the next party at the happening home . This is where we have gotten @ Mooney. Everyone should be so proud of these parents and their cover-up. Rest assure these arrogent parents are out today holding their heads up high. They have no SHAME.

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24ConServRep(16 comments)posted 4 years ago

Ok, so this is a very very special case, and the parents deserve a medal for taking "full" responsibility with no consequences - Janet Reno style. But was it worth it for this Prosecutor to never again be able to enforce the law against providing alcohol to minors? All anyone has to do from now on is just say "Hey, we're only using it to celebrate" Or does that just go for the people who can afford the expensive kind?

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25Poland_25(11 comments)posted 4 years ago

I said it on the other story's board and I will say it again, SHAME ON ALL OF YOU WHO ARE CRITICIZING. Those with glass houses shall not throw stones! You do not know how you would have acted in that situation. The kids did not drink the alcohol. WHOEVER BROUGHT UP THE TWO YOUNG MEN WHO COMMITTED SUICIDE AS A CHEAP SHOT, YOU ARE A SCUMBAG. Teens who commit suicide are troubled young men/women, how dare you make their problems into a reason why Mooney is bad. This situation is over, drop it, let it go, say goodbye, forget it, leave it be, whatever else you want to say it is not an issue. Oh, by the way I am a Poland graduate, whose son attends Poland schools, however he will attend Mooney, because it is A GREAT SCHOOL, REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU PEOPLE SAY. IT HAS GREAT PARENTS, TEACHERS, COACHES, AND ADMINISTRATORS.

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26bbearsmom(23 comments)posted 4 years ago

Obviously the Vindy does not support opinion polls. We were discussing this very instance and the comments were shut down or maybe that happens after 99 people oh wait 97 people show their disgust with the outcome of this incident. Don't be surprised next season if every school that plays Mooney from around here has champagne bottles as props in the stands. This will never be forgotten. Such a black mark on Mooney , the Diocese , the Prosecutor and the YPD. Thanks for wasting my tax money.

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27republicanRick(1578 comments)posted 4 years ago

It is obvious Vindy is covering up this story because they know the Mooney parent mindset -- Mooney parents are very vindictive and will cancel paper in a moments notice.

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28AnotherAverageCitizen(1180 comments)posted 4 years ago

I asked twice on the other board, never answered, then the board got removed.


Those parents should be banned from all school activities. Corruption of minors, those parents should not be allowed at any school functions.

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29bbearsmom(23 comments)posted 4 years ago

How could they possibly educate grade schools they have no clue themselves. I hear some of the names leaked out. We're talking biggggggg money thats why it was kept a secret.
It will only be a matter of time before everyone knows who there are.

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30bbearsmom(23 comments)posted 4 years ago

I can honestly say I'll be looking forward to seeing how the opposing fans act at the games. I'm seeing champagne being squirted on the team in the St. Patricks day parade,and at all the games in the fall. LOL.

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31bbearsmom(23 comments)posted 4 years ago

One more thing in the article above since when does a city prosecutor let the Diocese decide if someone is guilty or not..Separate Church and State much ??????? Dear God ...no wonder Youngstown is a joke

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32Rooster(79 comments)posted 4 years ago

This issue sure shows up the quality of folks on this board. Can't you read right? The police didn't find any goblets of any kind in those locker rooms. Only ignorant riff-raff such as yourselves would think those Mooney boys would be drinking directly out of the bottle. This wasn't your own kind of cheap hootch, mind you, this was French champagne. When quality folks celebrate, they just shake it up and spray it around - kind of use it like fire works. It would take common bottle swiggers like yourselves to go jumping to yoru jealous conclusions. Those Mooney parents apologized and made donations all around, some they're not even getting any public credit for. And you folks just keep complaining. Those parents are helping to support the local politicians, keeping your costs down for you and doing you a service. Those Mooney people have their own ways, let them take care of their own. Haven't you heard of Sharia law? But no, you got to complain and complain, want to run up my taxes demanding the law jump in where it isn't needed. Those alcohol laws are for offspring like yours who don't know what to do with alcohol other than pour it down their throats and cause problems. I just read today where Youngstown police arrested a bunch of low-lifes that were corrupting the youth with alcohol. And you want them treating those Mooney parents the same way I suppose? All because you're too ignorant to know what to do with a bottle of French champagne. Folks like yourselves are never happy.

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33bbearsmom(23 comments)posted 4 years ago

So odd you should compare spraying champagne to fireworks.....Hmmmm I wonder ????????????

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34Caliber380(43 comments)posted 4 years ago

And the teachers/ principles/ educators put blame on parents not teaching their kids right from wrong.! What an interesting twist.

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