D.A. Won't Pursue Welch Case

Prosecutors say they could not prove an alleged shoving incident beyond reasonable doubt, so no charges will be filed.

Harry Welch has been cleared by the Orange County District Attorney's office, which has refused to file assault charges against the football coach.

Welch, the head football coach at Santa Margarita Catholic, has been on paid administrative leave since last week while being investigated by the Orange County Sheriff.

According to sheriff spokesman Jim Amormino, the school received an anonymous third-party tip via email that a coach at the school "pushed or shoved a student athlete," which could be grounds for assault.

The victim did not file the complaint.

"Based on a thorough review of all the evidence and the law, we believe that we can't prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt and that a jury would not return a guilty verdict," said Farrah Emami, spokeswoman for the district attorney's office.

She said it's not unusual for the office to not file charges, noting that the D.A. takes in 70,000-80,000 submitted cases but files charges in 65,000-70,000 of them.

Although Welch has been cleared by the D.A., the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange said Thursday that he remains on leave "pending a review by the Santa Margarita administration as well as the Diocese of Orange," according to Stephen Bohannon, the diocese spokesman.

"Our review is still ongoing," Bohannon said. "We were anticipating that it would not be a very long review but want to make sure everything is covered."

The incident that sparked the investigation allegedly took place Dec. 13, a few days after Santa Margarita won the Pac-5 championship and three days before it won the State Division I Bowl championship.

For Welch, a second-year coach at Santa Margarita, it was the third state bowl game he had won in six year with three different teams. The team went 13-2 this season and, in Welch's two years heading the program, is 22-5. In the two years prior to his arrival, it was 6-14.

RSM Dad January 29, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Are you for real McCook? You won't answer a very relavant question to beng a citycouncilman in RSM unless that person proves to you they are a registered voter here? You can't be serious! But then again you come off with such wacky other statements I guess I am not surprised. Just another typical politician is all you are. Even Petrilla isn't that arrogant.
Sharon Y. January 29, 2012 at 06:41 PM
I agree these posts of gotten off topic but I must comment on Mccook,he seems to lurk around a lot self promoting and passing out cards, even to kids and that is what I have to biggest problem with, just plan creepy. He is clearly not a viable candidate and has little or no knowledge about this community or what it would take to be an effective leader .
Lawrence (Larry) McCook January 29, 2012 at 08:33 PM
RSM Dad, I also will meet you personally if you will be man enough to come out from behind your alias. Just email me. larry larry4rsm@yahoo.com
Lawrence (Larry) McCook January 29, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Sharon Y. Off topic yes and from many people. I understand your concern and that you do not know me personally.. Your daughter must be one of the three employees of pizza place where I am a customer. I hand out my cards all over RSM since this is my best way to get my name out there. I will not have the $50,000.00 that the incumbents will have from their political supporters. I handed cards to everyone at the pizza place. I have served as the Legislative and Advocacy Representative for two RSM SVUSD schools for the last six years trying to save money to support and save programs for our schools. In order to serve On PTA Boards you have to under go annual background checks. The current President for the entire SVUSD PTA said that I have served well and have been a strong voice for schools in Sacramento. My youngest son is an Honors 7th grade student at RSM Intermediate and won a medal in art from the SVUSD last year. My daughter is a Deans Honors graduate from UCSB and my oldest son is a graduate of Cal Poy-SLO where he was on their Football Team for four years. He played four years for Bellarmine College Prep which was defeated in the State Championship Game. I sat on the Eagles side. Hopefully, this will give you a better picture of myself. This will be my last response to the suspected supporters of the Old Guard incumbents. If they are for real? I have offered to meet with them two times. Thanks for your comments and your parental concerns.
Mike Proctor January 29, 2012 at 09:58 PM
I was trying to stay away from this, but I needed a break from my fricken home do it yourself plumbing repair, so I decided for a short break, to bang my fingers on the keyboard, instead of my head on the wall, that currently has a huge hole in it (the wall, not my head). In all honesty, Larry did not take this "Blog" off topic.....it kind of took a "small turn" after my first commit about his "..low life" term. Which then brought out the anti Larry crowd, and a few keyboard loud mouths, which IMO is what changed the subject tone of this ride, and took the inevitable train wreck off the tracks. Larry simply replied to those who came at him......thats how i see it. Now was that smart thing. Thats not for for me to decide, and i really don't give a rats tail. Now back to my leaky pipe and wet dry wall. Tight lines, I'm out.
Gloria Conrad January 30, 2012 at 12:03 AM
Mr. Proctor, I am a new subscriber to this Patch, a mother of 3 students and was somewhat apalled at the negative remarks about Larry McCook. I have known Mr. McCook since 1999 and he is a fine citizen of RSM and a strong activist for the truth. We in RSM are lucky for him to volunteer his experience and services. He is also a devote father of his 12 year old son. I might add that I am not a member of his church but, know him to be a devoted Christian. I do know the former Patch employee April Josephsen to be an ally of Carol Gamble and she has a strong outspoken political agenda. I did an Intelius research for this James Vilius who has been blogging. There is no such person in either 92688 or 92679 or is there anyone registered to vote in RSM by that name. Voter registration is a public online record. A total phony with an agenda! RSM Dad is hiding behind an alias to slander people. Does he not know that, with a court order, you can pull any and everyones computer IP address from RSM Patch and enter an action against them in court? I am surprised that the Patch allows these type comments. Some obvious supporters of city council incumbents owe Mr. McCook a big apology!
James Vilnius January 30, 2012 at 12:25 AM
Ms. Conrad and Mr. McCook - If my question either offended you, I apologize.
RSM Dad January 30, 2012 at 12:53 AM
Ms. Conrad, Patch removes slanderous comments. That is their policy, and I have seen them do it to other posters who they consider had crossed the line. I have said nothing about Mr. McCook that would be considered slanderous in a court of law. As an announced candidate for office, however, his comments are fair game for comment, ridicule and questioning. No different than what you see occuring now for the presidential campaign. If you are offended, I apologize to you as well, but I will continue to hold Mr. McCook accountable to anything he states as I evaluate his competency to serve on the city council.
Nancy Thompson January 30, 2012 at 01:00 AM
good call Mike, these blogs seem to take on a life of their own after simply one statement, people don't have anything better to do???? OMG no wonder we don't have more people running for office, anyone not known, an old citizen, etc that might want to run for office has to contend with these crazy people! the question asked of Mr cook could have been answered, but I think the answer would not have sufficed to the person asking, people who dont want ANY change seem to attack anyone who mentions any change, they just want to attack and what scare them away???
Stamper January 30, 2012 at 01:03 AM
Seriously everyone??? this is so off topic! The article is supposed to be about Coach Welch! I'm honestly surprised that if whatever happened at the city council meeting on Wednesday had this much "dissension and tirade" (as Larry McCook put it), why isn't there an article on Patch to tell the rest of us about it? I just now went to the RSM city website and looked up the agenda, but it doesn't say what actually happened. Is there somewhere where we can find out what this is all about? Anyways, I'm glad there's at least another story about Coach Welch now that we can comment on, so i'm going there, but I'm still interested in knowing what this is all about.
Stamper January 30, 2012 at 01:08 AM
i agree Nancy. I'm getting the impression that some of these people just want to be mean and that they wouldnt be satisfied with any answer. But I'm looking in as an outsider and don't know where all this emotion came from. i guess I'm totally out of the loop - but I'd love to be filled in, unless that means people will start attacking me too.
RSM Dad January 30, 2012 at 01:41 AM
Stamper, it is the last item on the agenda before the second public comment portion. You can listen to the audio tape of the discussion. But as far as Mr. McCook, that goes beyond this one instance. But I will leave it at that as you are correct, this topic is not the subject of the article.
RSM Dad January 30, 2012 at 01:45 AM
Nancy, why do you say "crazy people"? Aren't you being rather demeaning yourself by that statement? So no one else is entitled to an opinion that doesn't suit your position? Is there something wrong with people that support the longer term councilpersons? Because you support Baric and Hrabik and their political gamesmanship, you don't hear anyone calling you crazy do you? Remind me not to do business with your company with that kind of attitude.
Nancy Thompson January 30, 2012 at 04:30 AM
Stamper you can go back and try to look through all the posts, might want to turn off your phone, get a glass of wine cuz it will take AWHILE to sort through all the bs basically 2 sides, neither wanting to listen or admit the other might be semi correct, just want to continue bashing each other and never move forward mistakes have been made, things said that are not accurate (on both side people! you must admit) and instead of letting things go when decisions were made, folks are hanging onto s... that happened during the election, council meetings, planning commission meetings, etc. hope that helps:)) be fore warned if you disagree you might get slammed!
Nancy Thompson January 30, 2012 at 04:32 AM
the sad part about all this BS is that the Patch is suppose to be a place to learn about our community and whats going on in it, I thought, but instead it has become a blogging arena of meaness!
Nancy Thompson January 30, 2012 at 04:34 AM
really? exactly what does this question mean?
Nancy Thompson January 30, 2012 at 04:36 AM
don't know if I can guide you to the right place, but there is a place that has an audio stream to listen to the meeting lasted about 2 hours so be prepared! very interesting to listen to though revealing on both sides :)
Nancy Thompson January 30, 2012 at 04:39 AM
omg really rsm dad, how old are we here? of course everyone is entitiled to their opinion, thats why we get to say what we want on here, you seem to only apply that concept when something is said that you don't agree with Ive noticed and while we are on the subject how do you know I support Baric and Hrabik????? I can only guess who you might be :))) RSM dad
Nancy Thompson January 30, 2012 at 05:05 AM
ok I take back the "crazy people" comment, should have thought before typing, lets say people who are not open to listening to others opinions
April Josephson January 30, 2012 at 10:58 AM
Nancy, I like your description of Patch as "a blogging arena of meaness." I agree that people could be expressing their opinions in a more positive manner. Ms. Conrad, thank you for recognizing that I support Carol Gamble. I do so for good reason. I will also support non-incumbents, should I believe they have the best interests of the city at heart and would be the best candidates for our city council in a given election. That is my only political agenda. So, I will assume your comment about owing Larry an apology does not apply to me. Also, a note to you and RSM Dad. Patch doesn't have to do anything about slanderous comments, as slander is verbal. I believe you are both referring to libel. I do think that although some comments are rather snarky in tone, none qualify as libelous. For the benefit of Stamper and any other members of the public interested, as referred to by Ms. Thompson and RSM Dad, archived meeting audio is available on the city's website. Here's the link: http://www.cityofrsm.org/gov/council/agenda_2011.asp
RSM Dad January 30, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Nancy, of course everyone is entitled to their opinion and that opinion, when placed on these blogs is subject to response. You stated that James' Vilnius4 question was irrelevant. That may be your opinion, but maybe it is relevant to him. My issue with McCook is his evasion of the question. Is that your defginition of a leader this city should have?
RSM Dad January 30, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Nancy, one more item. I listened in on the audio to the city council meeting that night and read the letters on line that were submitted. What I heard was not so much a problem with the benefits and term limits subject, but the statements by Baric's planning commisioner that the city is not business friendly. And when challenged on his information, he had no answers. As far as Hrabik, well everyone knows about him and his motivations- bitterness.
Nancy Thompson January 31, 2012 at 12:57 AM
excuse me? I said James question was irrelevant??? please point out where I said that, I seem to notice you tend put words into peoples mouths that they didn't say so look back up the blogs and show me where I "said" that please so I can apologize if I did I agree with you on the fact that the problem of benefits and term limits wasn't addressed could that be because everyone couldnt get past :their" interpertation of the "not business friendly" comment? lets ask both men what they mean by that comment before we assume what they mean I kind of think it might have had something to do with the "cost" of starting up a business here in town not anything to do with being friendly to buisnesses always heard assumption is the mother of all f--- ups! seems like theres alot of that going on with this here on Patch
RSM Dad January 31, 2012 at 02:34 AM
Nancy, I will retract the irrelevant comment since you did not use that exact word. But your comment above that the question could have been answered but it wouldn't have mattered appears to state that it is irrelevant. Do you know this James Vilnius? I don't. Can you really state that whatever answer McCook would have given him wouldn't be acceptable? I don't think you can.
RSM Dad January 31, 2012 at 02:51 AM
Nancy, can you tell me at what point in the discussion that I heard on the audio, or in the letters submitted to the city that were on the city's web site, that the "unfriendly to business" statements referred to "starting a business"? Besides the drama Hrabik has brought on which has now been well documented that he was a major part of his own problem, including illegal modifications to his buildings without permits, a clear public safety violation issue, do you have any other instances where anyone had a problem with the city? Did BJ's? Did Togo's? Did Ultra? Did Big Lots? Can you cite specifically with facts and comparative information where RSM is more expensive to start a business in than any other city in this part of the county? If your assumption of what you "think they meant" is true, then those facts should be available. If that is what Baric's planning commissioner Peter Whittingham and Hrabik meant, they sure weren't able to produce any evidence of that nor could they even answer the question about the statements they did make with any data. At the end, as you pointed out, even Baric admitted the whole issue had to do with city council compensation and benefits, and that along with term limits was what this "Voters Bill of Rights" was all about. So why did they try and drag in this "unfriendly to business" argument when the two are completely unrelated? Couldn't be because of "politics" now could it?
Nancy Thompson January 31, 2012 at 02:52 AM
maybe everyone should start their comments with IMO, I will from now on. Saying I think isn't enough I guess
#2 January 31, 2012 at 04:50 AM
I am glad that everyone who posted about their stance on politics completely forgot that Coach Welch's livelihood is at stake. This man dedicated over four decades to the improvement of our lives of young men and women, and the comments not addressing issues related to the story is insensitive at the least. For those of us who know this great man who has enriched our lives, take this time to rally in support of a leader during these difficult times.
Richard Grainger February 15, 2012 at 07:44 PM
There are not over 100 or so people out of 50,000 residents who give a darn about how our city government was formed. Stupid question not deserving of an answer.
Richard Grainger February 15, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Richard Grainger February 15, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Mr. Leonard is still protecting "some of" The Planning Commission! What a joke!


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