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Ex-chief of Niles booster club faces felony theft charge

Published: Sat, September 8, 2012 @ 12:06 a.m.

BY Jordan Cohen



Police filed a felony theft charge Friday against James Mullen III, who resigned as president of the Niles Frontliners football boosters after $21,000 was discovered missing from the club’s bank account.

Mullen, 45, of Coates Court, Girard, wrote what police describe as “unauthorized checks” totaling $21,090.34 between May 31 and July 23. He resigned after Tim Parry, the Frontliners’ treasurer, questioned him about the checks and the missing funds. Mullen eventually made full restitution of the missing money, according to a statement from the attorney for the Frontliners.

“It doesn’t matter that he made full restitution,” said Capt. Ken Criswell, Niles chief of detectives, Friday. “It’s still a theft.”

Criswell said Mullen, who was accompanied by an attorney, surrendered to police Friday afternoon, and was released on a $2,500 bond pending his arraignment Monday.

The Frontliners raise funds on behalf of the McKinley High School Red Dragons, the varsity football team. The club operates independently of the school district, though Superintendent Mark Robinson has said he plans to maintain a close association with the Frontliners as a result of the incident. Robinson said Parry kept the district informed throughout the investigation.

Parry is also affiliated with a committee raising funds for the renovation of the school district’s Bo Rein Stadium. The Frontliners’ attorney has emphasized that the unauthorized checks were written from the booster group’s account only and did not involve any Rein funds.

With the announcement of restitution, the Frontliners’ attorney said the club has established new safeguards “to prevent any recurrence of this incident.” The nature of the safeguards has not been disclosed.

The Niles Frontliners. Inc., a long-time fundraising booster group, is classified as a charitable nonprofit organization. The club recently elected Joseph Matig, Niles, as its new president. Matig had been vice president under Mullen. An attempt to reach Matig was unsuccessful.


1southsidedave(4780 comments)posted 2 years ago

James Mullen: now you have a felony that will follow you for life...

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2UsuallyBlunt(105 comments)posted 2 years ago


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3sammyd1949(19 comments)posted 2 years ago

Began taking money on May 31, it lasted until late July, and this all came to light in late August? Anyone who gives a penny to the Frontliners from this point forward would be a fool until a LOT of questions are answered. And if some of the same people are running the organization raising money for the stadium, same thing. Don't give a red cent to these people, because they can't be trusted unless they come up with some answers. Vindy, while you're at it, ask about the $4000 missing from the cheerleaders. Seems everyone associated with a certain BOE member is a dirty little crook.

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4b3crr1715(1 comment)posted 2 years ago

If the reporters would dig a little deeper, this person also has a past of shady dealings with a housing development project with which he also took liberties and was fired for. This is second hand info., but what I've been told, is pretty reliable info. So what it seems, is that this person has a history of financial mishandlings, and it "seems" that he has gotten away with it before. There is a history, and he should serve substantial time. It's not like he went before the other Frontliners officers and asked for a loan,(not that that would be acceptable) but he went about it "premeditated" as if it would not be a problem. From the other column, I don't see how this could be plead down to a misdemeanor. It seems that this "gentlemen" needs to be taught a lesson." Who do people think they are?!?!"

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