Former Coronado High School football coach John Mannion was arrested on a felony theft charge Monday after his appearance in Henderson Justice Court.
Chief Judge Rodney Burr ordered Mannion, 50, to be released on his own recognizance after being booked and processed at the Clark County Detention Center.
The Clark County district attorney’s office accuses Mannion of stealing $2,500 or more in fundraising money between July 1, 2008, and March 31, 2009. A report from the school district police specifies that Mannion took $17,851 in student funds.
Clark County Deputy District Attorney Michael Radovcic argued against allowing Mannion to be released without having to post bail.
“I understand this wasn’t a violent crime,” he said. “But it’s still $17,000 in question.”
Radovcic said Mannion mishandled school funds by not turning money in to the school banker in a timely manner.
“It was only after six months (after summer fundraising efforts) until he had students move a bookshelf and found a bag of money,” he said, referring to a Feb. 2 incident when Coronado students found more than $5,000 in a bag behind furniture in Mannion’s office at the school at 1001 Coronado Center Drive near Horizon Ridge Parkway.
Vincent A. Consul, Mannion’s attorney, told the court that Mannion should be granted release on his own recognizance because he voluntarily surrendered.
Consul said he asked for the appearance to be added to the court calendar so Mannion would be able to turn himself in to police.
In addition, he said Mannion grew up in the area, owns a home in Las Vegas and has spent 20 years working for the Clark County School District.
“He’s not going anywhere,” he said.
Burr agreed to the release partially because Mannion had no prior failures to appear in court and because Consul had arranged for Clark County School District police to be at the courthouse ready to make the arrest, he said.
Mannion refused to comment after the appearance, referring statements to Consul.
Consul said he couldn’t comment extensively on the case because he’d received only about 20 pages of documents from the district attorney’s office, an unusually small number for a financial case.
“There’s about two inches worth of paper that Clark County School District officials haven’t turned into the district attorney yet,” he said Monday. “I can’t comment until I see that paperwork.”
Mannion hasn’t paid any restitution to the district because he didn’t take any money, Consul said.
“(In February) he found and turned in a bag that had $5,700 in it,” he said. “I think the term restitution has been mistakenly applied to that.”
Consul said he hasn’t seen any paperwork indicating the $5,615 found in Mannion’s office was included in the $17,851 total the school district says is still unaccounted for.
“As for any allegations of the rest of the money, he didn’t take it, so there’s none to be made at this point,” he said. Mannion’s next court appearance has been scheduled for Nov. 12.
Contact reporter Mike Blasky at email@example.com or 702-383-0283.