PALMER, Alaska - A hockey coach has pleaded not guilty to theft and forgery.
KTUU-TV (http://is.gd/6OLq6j) says that James Donald Smith Jr. is a Mat-Su hockey coach accused of using money earned from charitable gaming permits to fund his own for-profit venture.
Smith, who appeared Monday in Palmer Superior Court, is accused of forging signatures and documents and taking more than $48,000 in funds.
The Alaska State Hockey Association, which governs local hockey leagues, has decided to keep Smith as the coach of the junior Avalanche bantam tier-two hockey team for now, and see how the case turns out.
The Mat-Su School District says it will keep Smith on as a teacher and hockey coach, but will review its own financial records to ensure school funds have been managed appropriately.