Winthrop High School Hockey coach and town rink manager Dale Dunbar and two assistant coaches have been cleared of any wrongdoing stemming from a drinking incident at the town rink following the hockey teams playoff loss in February.
In a statement Winthrop Police Chief Terence Delehanty said the coaching staff, which includes Dunbar, Assistant Coach Michael Norris, and Assistant Coach Matthew Driscoll were in the coaches’ locker room at the time (a) 22-year-old man allegedly brought the alcohol to the players’ locker room.
“They did not procure the alcohol and were not aware of its presence until Winthrop Police arrived at approximately 11:40 that night (February 28),” said Delehanty.
Delehanty added that the players will not face criminal charges, but will face administrative discipline through Winthrop High School. This was confirmed by Superintend of Schools John Macero but did not elaborate on the type of discipline citing student’s confidentiality.
“I have devoted my entire adult life to developing young student athletes into responsible and successful leaders,” said Dunbar. “Even the slightest hint that I would condone or be involved in a scenario that included underage drinking runs totally contrary to everything that I believe and everything that I teach. I am also fortunate to have had enormous support from family and friends from all over the country. I think that says something as well.”
Dunbar’s attorney, James Cipoletta, said, “We are extremely pleased with both the depth and the result of the Winthrop police investigation that has completely cleared Dale of any culpability. Right now, Dale is looking forward to working with the school department, police chief, and the town manager in instituting a program that prepares young men and women to deal with a wide variety of temptations they as students.”
Winthrop police will seek a criminal complaint in East Boston Municipal Court charging a 22-year-old man, of Winthrop with providing alcohol to minors for the incident involving the Winthrop High School hockey team. The 22-year-old man is a Winthrop High School alumnus but is not an employee of the school or connected with the team.
“Based on a month-long investigation supported by multiple interviews and video evidence recovered from Winthrop Middle School and a Winthrop liquor store, police believe this 22 year old man, purchased and supplied a large quantity of alcohol and transported them to the players’ locker room, where several players consumed them,” said Delehanty. “If after a hearing, a clerk finds probable cause to issue the complaint, the 22 year old will be summonsed into court for arraignment at a later date.”