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School board asks volunteer to step down after criminal charge surfaces

March 16, 2013
By JO ANN BOBBY-GILBERT - Staff Writer (jgilbert@mojonews.com) , Morning Journal News

EAST LIVERPOOL - A Salem man approved Monday by the city school board as a volunteer sports coach will be asked to resign after district officials learned he has been arrested.

Gary Kohler, 57, 7353 West Pine Lake Road, was approved on the recommendations of both high school Principal Randy Taylor and Superintendent James Herring at Monday's regular meeting of the board.

The only question posed at the meeting pertained to his title as a "sports coach," rather than a specific sport, which Herring said was so he could assist with more than one sport if necessary.

Since that meeting, officials have learned Kohler had been arrested at his home the previous week for felonious assault, according to Herring, who said he and the school board were not aware of Kohler's arrest when he was appointed.

"We found out after the fact. Before that (arrest) happened, his fingerprints were fine," Herring said Friday.

He said Athletic Director Robert Shansky has since been directed to advise Kohler he either needs to submit a letter resigning the volunteer coaching spot or the board will rescind its vote to appoint him.

"Nothing goes smooth here," Herring said, adding that, once the court case against Kohler is completed, the appointment could be revisited, depending on the outcome.

According to a news article published the day after the school board meeting, Goshen Township officers responded to his home at 3:36 a.m. March 7 when a repossession agent said Kohler threatened him with a shotgun as he tried to repossess Kohler's vehicle.

The agent told officers he had dragged the 2012 Chrysler into the street when Kohler came from his home, yelling. When informed his vehicle was being repossessed, Kohler reportedly went back into his house, brought out a shotgun and waved it in a threatening manner outside the tow truck window.

Kohler told police he heard noises outside and thought someone was stealing his vehicle. He also reportedly told officers he had the right to protect his property from being stolen and that he was not certain it was a repossession in progress.

All firearms were seized from Kohler's home, and he was arraigned on the felonious assault charge later that day in Mahoning County, where a preliminary hearing was set for March 28.

 
 

 

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