MASSILLON, Ohio (Jordan Miller News) – Canton Local school board President Scott Hamilton was found guilty of a misdemeanor theft charge on Wednesday in Massillon Municipal Court.
Hamilton was charged back in May for stealing 166 bales of pine shavings from the Massillon Tractor Supply location on Erie Street between January and May.
Hamilton, alongside defense attorney Dan Funk, reached a plea deal agreement with city prosecutors just prior to a scheduled preliminary hearing.
“Scott wanted to expeditiously resolve this matter rather than dragging it out,” Funk stated. “He felt this would unduly [affect] Canton South Schools, his [family,] and Tractor Supply. Thus, he agreed to enter a no contest plea. Unfortunately, the court found him guilty. In response, he immediately paid the amount in dispute due to the misunderstanding of his purchases at Tractor Supply. Scott is extremely remorseful for this entire situation and looks forward to moving past this.”
Hamilton must pay $1,031 in restitution to Tractor Supply Company, court fees, complete 40 hours of community service, and stay away from the chain’s stores.
Canton Local Schools board member Chris Cole stated the following on Facebook following the verdict: “I have been mostly silent on social media about the theft charges pressed by Tractor Supply Co. against Mr. Hamilton. I graciously allowed Mr. Hamilton to have his day in court. Today was that day. Contrary to what Mr. Hamilton’s attorney said would occur, Mr. Hamilton was unable to explain how this theft was a misunderstanding. Mr. Hamilton has been found guilty of a first degree misdemeanor. This is behavior that is unbecoming of a school board member and I am now publicly calling for Mr. Hamilton to do the honorable thing and RESIGN his position on the Canton Local Board of Education. I would encourage my colleagues on the board of education to also demand his resignation.”
Hamilton remains as president of the Cantol Loca school board, a position which he has held for nearly 30 years.