Wednesday, January 10, 2001

Ex-coach accused of cash misuse

The Associated Press

        LOUISVILLE — A former youth football coach has pleaded not guilty to a theft charge for allegedly spending $17,500 on himself, rather than on a van for his team, the purpose approved by the city of Louisville.

        Michael Thomas Sr., 46, who coached the 10th Street Cardinals, received the money from the Board of Alderman's discretionary fund in October 1998.

        A court record filed by the police officer who investigated the case, Detective Charles Howard II, said Mr. Thomas admitted that he “used money that was granted to the 10th Street Cardinals Inc. for his own use.” Mr. Thomas deposited the money, then withdrew much of it through ATM transactions, the document says. There is no description of what he used the money for.

        Neither Mr. Thomas nor his lawyer, Jeffrey Skora, could be reached for comment.

        The aldermen's $1.2 million annual discretionary fund, which was created in 1982 to pay for small neighborhood projects, has long been a target of critics. They say that the spending is not well-monitored and that the aldermen, all of whom are Democrats, use it for political gain.


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