Ex-teacher given 4 years for theft
By LINDA STEIN
Gambling and drinking may have led a former technology director for the East Windsor school district to steal computers from the school district, an assistant prosecutor said.
Robert Parker, 60, who was sentenced to four years in prison yesterday, kept his head bowed and did not speak as he stood before Superior Court Judge Maria Sypek.
Parker, who pleaded guilty to theft by deception in March, had taken nearly 100 computers that belonged to the school district and resold them to teachers, pocketing the money, said Assistant Prosecutor Doris Galuchie.
Galuchie said an investigation showed that Parker had lost $64,000 at the Atlantic City casinos in the last five years and that six bottles of liquor were found in his desk.
The school district paid $120,000 for the computers which Parker sold for $92,000, Galuchie said. Parker, of Georgetown Road in Hamilton, will be required to pay $80,000 in restitution to the district, Sypek said.
Noting that Parker had been teacher for 29 years, Galuchie said, “He has been a role model, which is pretty scary.”
District Superintendent Ronald Bolandi told Sypek that Parker had been “in a trusted position” and had “deceived the district.”
Bolandi said the thefts had hurt the children.
“I could have had a (computer) lab in every building,” Bolandi said. “I’m just appalled.”
Parker’s defense lawyer George Yuska requested that Parker be sent to a minimum security prison due to his health problems including heart disease, diabetes and arthritis.
Before the thefts were discovered, many students called Parker their favorite teacher, Yuska said. Since his arrest he has suffered “shame and humiliation.”
“This is a tragedy,” Yuska said.