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Background Information

Employment History


Coatesville Area School District

Adaptive Physical Education Teacher, Alternative Education Teacher, Attendance Officer and A Head Coach
Coatesville Area School District

Coatesville Area School District

Web References (197 Total References)

Former Coatesville superintendent ...

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Former Coatesville superintendent Richard Como (left) and former athletic director James Donato (right).

Former Coatesville superintendent Richard Como (left) and former athletic director James Donato (right).
Richard Como, the former superintendent of the Coatesville Area School District, faces 47 counts of theft and state ethics violations. He is accused of nepotism in hiring practices and diverting school district funds to pay for high school championship football rings.
The arrests of Como and Donato in December came after an 18-month investigation by the Chester County District Attorney's Office into school district finances and management.

Angelo Romaniello, the former assistant ...

www.athleticbusiness.com [cached]

Angelo Romaniello, the former assistant superintendent, and James Fox, a former school board member, served during the administration of Richard Como, the former superintendent who was arrested last month and charged with dozens of counts of theft and state ethics violations.

For more than a year, some residents have called for the resignations of Romaniello, Fox, and the two other school board members who served while, Chester County prosecutors say, Como and athleticdirector Jim Donato stole money from the district.

Chester County Futures

www.ccfutures.org [cached]

PRINCIPAL: Richard W. Como

Coatesville Area School District9th & 10th grades1425 E. Lincoln HighwayCoatesville, PA 19320610.383.7900

Former Coatesville Area School ...

www.timesherald.com [cached]

Former Coatesville Area School superintendent Richard Como, shown leaving district court Monday, Dec. 15, 2014, was charged with felony theft charges following a grand jury investigation. DAILY LOCAL NEWS 21st Century Media News Service

CALN >> A symbol of Coatesville Area Senior High School Red Raiders football teams success is now a constant reminder of former Superintendent Richard Comos supposed criminal pet project, according to a grand jury that sought charges against Como for 50 counts of felony theft.
Criminal charges against Como, as well as former high school Director of Athletics and Activities Jim Donato, revealed how 87 championship football rings and three pendants worth more than $33,000 were inappropriately purchased.
According to the grand jury report, Como is accused of illegally (diverting) school funds for the purchase of football rings and pendants, bypassing the Pennsylvania School Code and school district policy to hide the purchase, stealing $11,000 from the district, and attempting to take $15,000 from the high school directors budget to cover the cost.
According to the report, Como approached Tricia Dohmsohn, a 12th grade English teacher and co-moderator of Student Council at the high school senior center.
The money generated from the sale was immediately turned over to Como.
The fundraiser, called the Beast of East Fundraiser, sold shirts at various schools, in the high schools store and to members of the community for $12 per shirt.
The shirts said Beast of East or Pride of the East and cost $5 per shirt to make.
Como brought $4,137 to the business office for deposit into the Red Raiders Spirit Day Account. The more than $4,000 in cash was deposited on three separate occasions in December and a single $12 was made in January.
A $4,137 check was written to Jostens on April 17, 2013 and temporarily left the Red Raiders Spirit Day Account empty, the report says.
Como had no authority to take money from the students and deposit it into an account which funded the purchase of the rings, the report says.
The check written in 2013 did not specify the donation was for the football team, yet Como deposited the check into the fund for the ring purchase, according to the report.
In June 2013, Como was said to initiate an $8,000 transfer from the Student Council account and skimmed $2,050 in cash from Summer School deposits.
About $1,100 from the Summer School deposits came from a $50 per student fee for a free program, Camp Academia, funded by Cheyney University. Como collected $1,100 from the fabricated tuition.
A second payment was made to Jostens in at the end of June for $6,931, increasing the total paid to Jostens to $11,069. The school district still owes $8,865.
The grand jury also said Como requested a $15,000 transfer from the high school directors budget to fund the rings. By the time previous deposits were made, the transfer was no longer needed. However, the $15,000 was deposited into the slush fund, but redirected back to the high school directors budget in February 2014.
The price of the rings was another topic for discussion.
Como managed to reduce the price of the rings by cutting a deal with Jostens.
An invoice obtained by the Daily Local News, dated Oct. 22, 2013, showed the original purchase price was about $33,000 - $350 per ring and $305 per pendant.
Como reduced the overall cost for the rings and pendants from $33,277 to $19,935 ($225 per ring and $195 per pendant) by giving Jostens a five-year service agreement with the school district to provide students with caps, gowns, diplomas and graduation stationary. Entering into the agreement with Jostens reduced the price of the rings, but cancelled a similar agreement signed that year with Student Services.
According to the grand jury report, Como entered into the agreement at the expense not only of a long standing business relationship with (Student Services), but potentially at the expense of every graduating senior for the next five years.
The grand jury didnt fault the football players, the booster club members, and the coaching staff for the suspected illegal spending initiated by Como. The rings were not demanded by the team.
It was Richard Como who not only promised the players rings, but also promised them the biggest rings he could find, telling the players I dont care what people say, youre going to get a ring, the report says.
Junior varsity and varsity football players who received rings, along with parents, were told the purchase was funded by a donation from a wealthy benefactor. Many didnt ask additional questions about how the rings were purchased, or even why a team who placed second to North Allegheny in the Class AAAA Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association.
The ring purchases remained under the radar until the racially and sexually offensive text message exchange between Como and former high school Director of Athletics and Activities Jim Donato shined some light on the football program, including potential misuse of funds.
The grand jury report reveals how Como was able to shift school district funds and promise the company making the rings a contract to cover the overall cost.
Richard Como was the driving force behind getting those rings, Hogan said during a press conference last week.
It was well known Como favored the athletic department, especially the football team.
He started working for Coatesville Area School District in 1986 as an adaptive physical education teacher, alternative education teacher, attendance officer and a head coach. He was there for more than a year before heading to Upper Merion High School to serve as the athletic director. He returned to Coatesville as the assistant high school principal in 1988 and became principal in 1995. He then sat as superintendent from 2005 to 2013.
While he served as superintendent, tens of thousands of dollars were squandered on football rings as a way to promote his athletics-above-all-else agenda, the report says.
The grand jury recounted Como illegally begged, borrowed and stole to pay for these rings by taking money from the Student Council, misusing donations, creating program fees, and engaged in patently illegal quid pro quo arrangements, all to pay for his criminal pet project.

Earlier in the week, all but ...

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Earlier in the week, all but four counts were upheld against former Coatesville superintendent Richard Como.

Prosecutors allege that Donato used his position to schedule "off the books" events and pocketed the money, and Como took money meant to pay for school football rings and was reimbursed for fraudulent expenses.

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