April 23, 2014

Mostly clear

Ex-coach youth Michael T. Butts gets 6 months jail, must pay league

MEDINA — A former Medina youth football coach was sentenced Wednesday to six months in jail and ordered to pay up to $86,874 in restitution for stealing from his league.

How much Michael T. Butts will pay remains to be determined.

Michael T. Butts

Butts, 47, 966 Guilford Blvd., was the director and a coach of Medina Bees Youth Football, a nonprofit organization founded in 2002.

Forensic accountants from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation determined Butts stole almost $87,000 from the league, which folded in May 2011 after concerned parents alerted police about missing funds.

Medina County Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier said anyone who thinks they were victimized by Butts should contact the Medina County Adult Probation Department at (330) 725-9791.

The deadline for making a claim is Feb. 26.

One victim already has been identified. Collier ordered Butts to pay $6,915 to the Medina Gridiron Football League, which took in some of the youngsters after the Medina Bees league folded.

In court, Butts was regretful.

“I do apologize to the community and to the kids who looked up to me,” Butts said. “I destroyed the trust and respect they had for me.”

Butts pleaded guilty in September to a fourth-degree felony count of grand theft. A charge each of forgery and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity were dropped as part of a plea deal.

Aside from the restitution and jail sentence, Butts was ordered to undergo five years of general supervision, to serve 200 hours of community service, to pay court costs and to enter drug and alcohol testing.

He also is not permitted to serve in a position of power for any more nonprofit organizations.

Defense Attorney Paul M. Grant said Butts committed the crime because he felt he deserved compensation for his work.

Special Prosecutor Kevin Baxter disputed the motive.

“Mr. Grant said numerous times that Mr. Butts asked for compensation, but he was unable to provide documentation that he ever asked for it,” Baxter said. “This was not reimbursement; this was theft.”

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.

  • Durkin

    To light a sentence for a really bad man who put himself first. He had enablers along the way that helped him and believed his lies. He poisoned youth sports in this town u2013 not just youth football u2013 by breading a lack of trust, encouraging, a me first attitude, and fanning a sense of entitlement. nnA decade worth of Medina kids is worse off because of him and what he fostered. He should NEVER be allowed in youth sports again.

  • Durkin

    What i am really trying to say is that i was a coach who never beat him so i am just plain jealous and mad at always finishing second to him.

  • MIckey

    Wow if that were someone who was not once in the system (lawyer) he would have got more than 6 mos He should have been made more of an example of because he was a lawyer he knew better! He knows how to play the game he knew the judge, I’m very disappointed in Judge Collier he always gives what is deserved why was this treated so lightly he was a lawyer he was a leader of a lot of young children and parents who trusted him .

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002988705668 Molly Santucci

    I’d do six months in jail in heartbeat if it meant i could steal $87,000.