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This profile was last updated on 12/22/14  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Mr. Richard Como

Wrong Richard Como?
 
Background

Employment History

197 Total References
Web References
Former Coatesville Area School ...
www.timesherald.com, 22 Dec 2014 [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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
SRA News & Issues: News Brief Archives
www.suburbanrealtorsalliance.com, 21 July 2013 [cached]
"In the coming days, we will be contacting the parents of Graystone students to make them aware that the decision to revoke Graystone's charter has been upheld and the school will be closing," Coatesville Area School District Superintendent Richard Como said.
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In two weeks Coatesville plans to sell the property in Valley that became the subject of widespread protest and lengthy legal proceedings when the city proposed using eminent domain to take land from a nearby farm owned by Dick and Nancy Saha.
Chester County Futures
www.ccfutures.org, 4 Aug 2008 [cached]
PRINCIPAL: Richard W. Como
Coatesville Area School District9th & 10th grades1425 E. Lincoln HighwayCoatesville, PA 19320610.383.7900
Angelo Romaniello, the former assistant ...
www.athleticbusiness.com, 28 Jan 2015 [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.
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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.
The news that former Coatesville ...
www.dailylocal.com, 9 Nov 2013 [cached]
The news that former Coatesville Area School District Superintendent Richard Como had applied to the states Public School Employees Retirement System to begin collecting his retirement pension does not come to us as a complete surprise. Still, it leaves us with a feeling as though we had been kicked in the stomach a little sick, and a little angry.
According to retirement system representatives, Como filed for his pension on Oct. 30, but his application has yet to be completed.
Como left his decades-long employment in the public school system in August under the blackest of clouds, accused of exchanging racially and sexually offensive text messages with another Coatesville administrator, Athletic Director James Donato, on their school owned cell phones.
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Members of the Coatesville Area School Board, acting with what we consider ill-considered advice of its legal counsel, decided to allow Como to voluntarily retire from his office rather than be removed through termination proceedings.
That set the course for Como eventually to make his way to the pension system to claim the money that had been set aside for him through the years he spent as an educator.
Rules regarding whether a public pension such as the one that Como earned can be withheld for misconduct are clear. Under the Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Act, any individual who has a right to receive retirement is subjected to a pension forfeiture if that employee is convicted of, pleads guilty or no defense to any of the crimes listed under the Pension Forfeiture Act, during his or her time as a public employee. Those are generally understood to include felonies or serious misdemeanors.
To date, Como has not fallen under those guidelines. But what is there to say about the notion that a man who had damaged the reputation of a district like Coatesvile so badly would still be able to walk away without some sort of recompense, some sort of collateral damage?
The messages that were exchanged between the two men and uncovered by innocent district staff were not simply the type of politically incorrect speech that many in the community believe should be ignored in light of the fact that Como had established a solid track record of service to the community.
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Como, whose family hails from Chester County and who made his mark here over the years, is perhaps an anathema wherever he goes in the community now. When he attempts to look an old acquaintance in the eye, we expect a cold stare will be his only return. In the end, we may not stop Como from collecting that pension, but we can hope that whatever amount of money that flows into his pockets burns his fingers as he tries to spend it.
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