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Girls Basketball Coach Can Resign Or Face A Board Vote

By Rich Thomaselli
HVSR Staff

COLD SPRING – Embattled Haldane High School girls basketball coach Tyrone Searight – accused of defrauding workers’ compensation benefits at his full-time job before pleading guilty to a lesser charge – is likely out.

Searight has been told by school district Superintendent Phil Benante to either resign or face a termination vote by the school board.

In a statement provided to the Putnam County News & Recorder, Benante said “I have advised Coach Searight that he could either step down from the team or I would be recommending action for the termination of his coaching assignment at our next Board of Education meeting, which is scheduled to be December 17, 2019.”

READ MORE: Haldane Girls Coach Tyrone Searight Arrested; Interim Coach Named

Benante said he met with Searight and communicated his decision on December 4, eight days after the coach pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in a plea agreement. Searight, originally accused of defrauding workers’ compensation and accepting almost $17,000 in benefits from his job as an MTA bus driver, was sentenced to one-year conditional discharge and full restitution, which he has since paid to the MTA Bus Company.

Searight claimed he was injured on the job and couldn’t work, but an investigation by the New York State Inspector General’s office found that Searight was still coaching Haldane at the same time. Normally a hyperactive coach on the sidelines, he was observed, and videotaped, standing abruptly, sitting, bending over, walking the sidelines and waving his arms.

Benante and Haldane athletic director Chris Salumn had previously decided to remove Searight from his coaching position on an interim basis until the coach settled his legal problems. JV girls basketball coach Jessica Perrone was elevated to the varsity position.

Searight did not respond to a request for comment as to whether he will resign or take his chances with the Board of Education.

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