Former Whitney Young High School swimming coach Andrew Parro was criminally charged for allegedly taking off-the-book pool rental payments from club swim teams, according to a report from the Chicago Public Schools inspector general, as reported by the Chicago Sun-Times Monday. The school’s principal Joyce Kenner was also suspended.
Parro — who is now the head coach at the Illinois Institute of Technology — allegedly pocketed approximately $30,000 between 2013 and 2016 through a combination of subletting the school’s facilities when he was renting them, or renting them out at times he was not authorized to be there.
The Cook County state’s attorney’s office charged Parro last August with four felony counts of theft and a felony count of official misconduct, according to the Sun-Times. Parro pleaded not guilty and was released on his own recognizance and is expected back in court on Jan. 27.
Parro has been barred from employment by Chicago Public Schools and from using the district’s facilities.
The inspector general’s report suggested a serious punishment for Kenner (possibly including termination), who had previously been issued a written warning for overlooking Parro’s behavior, but the board handed her a five-day unpaid suspension.
According to the Sun-Times, the inspector general’s report “showed that a representative from one of the groups informed the principal and assistant principal that she rented pool time directly from the school’s swimming coach, not the school.”
It added that Kenner “clearly maintained a very permissive approach toward the coach and his activities at the school.”
Both Kenner and Parro had previously been issued warnings in 2016, when an investigation found that Parrio had been allowed to rent the pool for $1.20 an hour for his own club. At that point, the board “started the process of cutting business ties with Parro, preventing the coach and his swim club from engaging in further business with the district,” according to the Sun-Times.
But as that process got underway, Parro pursued merging his club with another and obtaining use of the pool for the new group. Though the merger ultimately did not happen, Kenner helped secure use of the pool by the second team for a still-discounted rate of $25 an hour, which was also “far less” than the rate he had been pocketing to rent to additional teams.
Parro and the board had also previously settled on an agreement in which Parro would be “permanently barred from doing business with the district,” according to the Sun-Times. But shortly after, he allegedly hosted a for-profit swim meet for the two aforementioned clubs and earned $750 for working at it.