Jury finds Campbell gym teacher not guilty in theft case

Local News

Phil Atsas was accused of stealing money he collected from the parents of soccer players

CAMPBELL, Ohio (WKBN) – A jury found a physical education teacher at Campbell City Schools not guilty of charges in his theft case.

Phil Atsas was accused of stealing money he collected from the parents of players while he was the soccer coach. The district’s superintendent said Atsas said the money was for soccer camps and tournaments, although the superintendent said the district covers those fees.

Four theft by deception charges against Atsas were dismissed in the case. Thursday afternoon, a jury found him not guilty of the remaining two theft by deception cases.

Atsas has been a physical education teacher in the district since the ’90s.

Atsas was put on paid administrative duty in September. Superintendent Matt Bowen stressed that the leave was separate from the police investigation and court case against Atsas.

“When we have evidence of monies being collected from individual families, not deposited into the school accounts, we have to report that to the authorities. After that point, we have no involvement other than being a witness when called upon,” he said.

Now that the case against Atsas has wrapped up, Bowen said the district will begin its internal investigation to ultimately decide the future employment status of Atsas.

“Due to the criminal investigation of the Campbell Police Department and the charges in the State of Ohio versus Mr. Atsas, the district was unable to continue their process timely,” he said.

“Now that the state of Ohio has ruled, the district can continue the process for the allegations related to district policy and violations identified in the code of ethics for Ohio educators,” he added.

Although Atsas is still employed by the district, he did not apply for a renewal of his coaching contract, so he is no longer the soccer coach.

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