Mingus officials react to Wokasch charges

COTTONWOOD -- Mingus Union School Superintendent Tim Foist was guarded Monday morning in his reaction to news that former head wrestling coach Tom Wokasch and his wife, Laura Jean, face felony charges for fraudulent schemes and felony theft. The charges are expected to be served to Wokasch and his wife Aug. 21 by Verde Valley Justice Court Judge Bill Lundy.

The charges come from an investigation into Wokasch for misappropriation of funds while he was head wrestling coach at Mingus Union. Wokasch was accused of depositing ticket and concession receipts into personal bank accounts instead of reporting the money to the school.

Reached by cell phone at his Kansas ranch, Foist said that looking back at the investigation into Wokasch, he knows that the administration and governing board did what they had to do to follow school policy and state law.

"Our school has been through enough on this," Foist said. "The administration and board acted responsibly through policy and state law."

He said the school district is not involved any longer.

School board member John Tavasci Jr. was board president during the Wokasch investigation and firing.

"It's a very, very sad circumstance," Tavasci said. "You hate to see that."

He said it is too early to comment on the charges against Wokasch and his wife.

"I know they have been doing forensic accounting for a long time," Tavasci said about the time lag between Wokasch's firing and the news that he is being charged with two felonies. "We have to wait and see how this plays out."

On June 14, 2010, the MUHS Governing Board accepted a recommendation by Foist to dismiss Wokasch from his teaching position. Wokasch had resigned from his coaching position earlier in the year after leading the Marauders to a fifth-straight state championship. In 20 years, Wokasch's wrestling team had a dual record of 417-70-1.

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