Saturday, 2:15 PM
Chelsea officer charged with stealing booster club funds
By Globe Staff
A Chelsea police sergeant who once was head coach of the Chelsea High football team has been indicted on charges that he misappropriated funds from the team’s booster club, Suffolk County prosecutors said today.
James Atkins, 43, of Revere is facing three counts of larceny by scheme, one count of larceny over $250, and one count of larceny by check for allegedly withdrawing about $10,000 from the Chelsea Football Boosters Club to use for expenses unrelated to team activities from 2004 to 2007, prosecutors said.
“The charges against James Atkins are serious and troubling,” District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said in a statement. “Atkins abused the public trust in his role as a police officer, he violated the trust of the kids who looked up to him as a mentor and a coach, and the parents who put their faith in him.”
Atkins’s attorney, Douglas Louison, said, “Jim Atkins is almost relieved this is finally coming to a head and he can come out swinging and defend himself, which he intends to do.”
“It’s a real unfortunate set of circumstances that this police officer is charged with these allegations, which will easily be explained away,” said Louison.
“This is a guy who’s done a tremendous amount for the youth in Chelsea, and that’s all going to be shown,” he said. “If anything, he was overly generous in expending his own funds to support the football program and the kids in Chelsea.”
After parents relayed their concerns to Chelsea High officials, Atkins’s contract was not renewed when it expired last year. Atkins was placed on paid administrative leave from his department in August 2007. He will be arraigned Oct. 22 in Suffolk Superior Court.
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