Nepotism on Trial

May 4, 2018

Matt Shomper, the former Athletic Director for Tipp City (Ohio) Schools, pleaded no contest to hiring relatives to work at school athletic events from June 2014 to May 2015.

According to WHIO TV, Shomper was found guilty for misrepresentation by a present or formal public official or employee, and was sentenced to a suspended 90-day jail term, 35 hours of community service, and $500 fines and court costs. Shomper, who had been honored as an Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association Athletic Administrator of the Year and was a recipient of an NIAAA State Award of Merit, resigned as part of an agreement with Tipp's Board of Education in May 2016.

Shomper said that many other athletic directors had similar hiring practices, and that he would not have hired relatives if he knew doing so was illegal. He said he turned to his family after other people declined his requests for help.

“All of them were emergency cases where people would not step up. We can’t run a game without a scoreboard operator, without ticket takers,” Shomper said.

Judge Gary Nasal said Shomper's ignorance of the law was not an excuse, but jail time was unnecessary because Shomper had learned his lesson.

“You have to accept what you did was wrong,” Nasal said. “The fact everybody else does it and gets away with it, doesn’t make it right.”

 

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