June 28, 2016

Mostly clear

Sentencing delayed for ex-youth football coach

MEDINA — Sentencing of a former youth football coach convicted of taking as much as $100,000 from his league has been postponed until Dec. 26 to allow more time to determine how much of the money he will pay back.

Michael Butts

Michael T. Butts, 47, of 966 Guilford Blvd., pleaded guilty in September to grand theft, a fourth-degree felony punishable by up to 18 months in prison.

In exchange for the plea, Special Prosecutor Kevin Baxter, who serves as prosecutor in Erie County, agreed to drop other charges of forgery and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity that were included in a grand jury’s indictment.

Baxter said his investigation estimated Butts took between $80,000 and $100,000 from the now disbanded Medina Bees Youth Football League where Butts served as director and coach between 2002 and 2011.

Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier said Monday that the sentencing was delayed because “the restitution is complicated.”

Baxter has said determining restitution would be difficult because so many parties were involved.

“You had people making payments in dues for their children and you also had fundraisers,” he said. “There were a lot of different methods that money came into that account.”

There are also creditors who say they are owed money from the league, he said.

The investigation into the league’s finances and missing funds began after parents alerted Medina police.

Gazette staff About Gazette staff

The Gazette is Medina County's daily local news source, serving the community since 1832. Contact The Gazette's news department at (330) 721-4065 or areanews@medina-gazette.com.