May 28, 2016


Former teacher pleads guilty to FFA theft

ELYRIA — A former Wellington High School teacher pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges that he stole $20,666 while serving as the adviser for the school’s Future Farmers of America club.



Patrick Knoble, 38, resigned in 2007 after he was charged with the theft and theft in office, charges to which he pleaded guilty. He had been suspended earlier that year on unrelated allegations he failed to report abuse or neglect.

School officials found evidence of the thefts while cleaning out Knoble’s desk after he was suspended.

According to the findings of an Ohio Auditor’s Officer report, Knoble wrote $5,371 worth of checks out for cash and another $13,223 worth of checks to himself and family members. The report also said he used FFA funds to pay $807 to financial institutions, debited $94 for gasoline, bought items worth $415 and had overdraft and returned item fees totaling $756.

None of those purchases were for FFA, the audit concluded. Knoble’s teaching license was later revoked permanently by the Ohio Board of Education.

This isn’t the first time Knoble, who could get prison time when he is sentenced later this year, has run afoul of the law.

Last year, he was sentenced to jail and probation in Oberlin Municipal Court after being convicted of aggravated menacing for threatening to burn down the school with then-Superintendent Victor Cardenzana inside.

In 2006, Knoble was cleared of charges he allowed students staying at his house to view pornography on his computer.

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About Brad Dicken

Brad Dicken is the senior writer for the Chronicle-Telegram. He covers courts and county government, and has been with the Chronicle since 2001. He can be reached at 329-7147 or Follow him on Twitter.