Apr 18, 2011
Fired Coach Accused Of Stealing Plans To Sue District

RYE — A former girls’ varsity basketball coach who was fired after the school district accused him of stealing from a student’s bag plans to sue the school district.

Brian Lavelle, who maintains he just looked in the bag to see if it belonged to one of his players, has filed a notice of claim against the district seeking compensation for what he claims has been financial damage, harm to his reputation and mental anguish.

At the center of the case is is surveillance video footage that the district claims shows Lavelle taking personal property from the bag.

His lawyer, Gerald DiEdwards, said he and Lavelle reviewed the tape on Monday after a state Supreme Court judge ruled that the pair had a right to see it. The district had fought the release of the tape to Lavelle.

DiEdwards said the tape does not show Lavelle taking anything from the bag, and that it appears he left the gym carrying his own plastic water bottle.

Three other people are also seen on the tape going through the bag after Lavelle, DiEdwards said.

DiEdwards’ analysis of the footage seems to contradict sworn testimony of Robert Castagna, the school district’s director of health, physical education and athletics, in the Supreme Court matter.

Castagna said after a student complained property was missing from a backpack that had been left in the gymnasium, the district reviewed footage that showed Lavelle “in and around the bag in question.”

At a subsequent meeting with Lavelle, “The district informed (Lavelle) that the video depicts him walk (sic) over to the student’s bag, open it up, search through the bag, take something from the bag and walk away, according to Castagna’s affidavit.

Castagna said Lavelle denied taking any property from the bag at that meeting.

According to the judge’s order, the items missing from the bag were $30 in cash and two credit cards.

Police said Lavelle was not charged with a crime in relation to the incident.

Rye City School District officials refused to comment on the matter because it is ongoing litigation.

The incident allegedly happened Nov. 23, 2010. Lavelle was suspended and ultimately fired; he was replaced with the team’s former coach, Mary Henwood.

Fired Coach Accused Of Stealing Plans To Sue District

Lohud.com (N.Y.)

RYE — A former girls’ varsity basketball coach who was fired after the school district accused him of stealing from a student’s bag plans to sue the school district.

Brian Lavelle, who maintains he just looked in the bag to see if it belonged to one of his players, has filed a notice of claim against the district seeking compensation for what he claims has been financial damage, harm to his reputation and mental anguish.

At the center of the case is is surveillance video footage that the district claims shows Lavelle taking personal property from the bag.

His lawyer, Gerald DiEdwards, said he and Lavelle reviewed the tape on Monday after a state Supreme Court judge ruled that the pair had a right to see it. The district had fought the release of the tape to Lavelle.

DiEdwards said the tape does not show Lavelle taking anything from the bag, and that it appears he left the gym carrying his own plastic water bottle.

Three other people are also seen on the tape going through the bag after Lavelle, DiEdwards said.

DiEdwards’ analysis of the footage seems to contradict sworn testimony of Robert Castagna, the school district’s director of health, physical education and athletics, in the Supreme Court matter.

Castagna said after a student complained property was missing from a backpack that had been left in the gymnasium, the district reviewed footage that showed Lavelle “in and around the bag in question.”

At a subsequent meeting with Lavelle, “The district informed (Lavelle) that the video depicts him walk (sic) over to the student’s bag, open it up, search through the bag, take something from the bag and walk away, according to Castagna’s affidavit.

Castagna said Lavelle denied taking any property from the bag at that meeting.

According to the judge’s order, the items missing from the bag were $30 in cash and two credit cards.

Police said Lavelle was not charged with a crime in relation to the incident.

Rye City School District officials refused to comment on the matter because it is ongoing litigation.

The incident allegedly happened Nov. 23, 2010. Lavelle was suspended and ultimately fired; he was replaced with the team’s former coach, Mary Henwood.






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