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Ex-coach pleads guilty to accepting improper compensation


OBERLIN — Former Marion L. Steele High School boys’ baseball coach Al McConihe pleaded guilty Friday to accepting improper compensation at Oberlin Municipal Court, although the charge could be dismissed later if he completes a diversion program.

McConihe was charged after accepting four Kalahari water park tickets by a supplier of athletic equipment in 2007 — a practice Amherst City Prosecutor Frank Carlson called “unsavory,” because he said the supplier was trying to secure a cut of business.

As a result, McConihe’s coaching contract wasn’t renewed by the school board in January, although he remains a social studies teacher at the high school.

On Friday, McConihe agreed to enter the court’s diversion program and was sentenced to 40 hours of community service and ordered to make restitution to the Amherst Steele Booster Club in the amount of $280. He also must write a report outlining the ethical provisions imposed on educators in Ohio.

After completing the requirements of his sentence, the judge could dismiss the charges and seal the court proceedings, according to court records.

According to an Amherst police report, the investigation into McConihe began on July 5, 2011, after the Amherst Steele Home Run Boosters contacted police because of questionable expenditures they believe had been made by McConihe. The investigation uncovered some concerns, but McConihe was only charged in connection with the Kalahari tickets.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or

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