Editor's Note: Roseville High School boys head hockey coach Jeff Pauletti defended himself at the Tuesday night, May 8, School Board meeting, refuting allegations that he has engaged in bullying and intimidation of players.
Pauletti said he resigned his hockey post on Tuesday afternoon so he could make his statement. He told Roseville Patch, in an email Wednesday, " I am still interested in coaching, as I have a strong passion for the game and a willingness to interact with student-athletes. I believe that I have been a positive influence in their lives, and have coached many outstanding young men."
"I am here today because I would just like to respond to some of the allegations that have been made against me, and I won’t beat around the bush on the issues. I have been waiting for months to respond to this, and feel it is my time to.
The comment has been made by this woman that “even though our school district has many, many detailed specific reports by players and families of how hockey coaches have bullied their kids, displayed aggressive acts of violence, and psychologically messing with kids minds and emotions.” She has also stated, “this is the fourth time since 2008 that I have reported these behaviors. At a minimum 7 other families provided in person reports of bullying over several years.”
I have asked for and received a copy of my personnel file, and not once have there been any prior reports of any of these allegations ever mentioned.
I continued to coach all season long, without any type of restrictions from the school. Not one! There have never been any of these types of allegations that she has referenced in any documentation from the school, to the school, or to the coaches. Allegations of throwing garbage cans; NOT TRUE. Bullying and Intimidation; NOT TRUE. Repeatedly documented over a consecutive 5 year time frame; NOT TRUE.
I have; on the other hand; broken a clipboard, in 2006-07. The players even joked about this, because at the end of the year banquet they presented to me a half-dozen clipboards they made in wood shop. They said that it worked so well to motivate them, they thought I could use more.
The accusers past history includes trying to get an administrator removed from their job, several volunteer youth hockey coaches removed, and baseball coaches removed. All skewing the facts in order to make themselves look better. All of this coming from a family that didn’t get their way because their son did not make team, or didn’t get their way in other situations.
The accuser has responded to me in correspondence over the years with some of the following quotes:
1) One of their son’s was injured before tryouts in 2010, and she responded to me, “We are so grateful in providing him with the latitude in how he can tryout. While our son has made the A team every year of youth hockey, we know that some parents will be upset he was given a special consideration-so thanks for sticking your neck out for our son. And also for our other son!” – And I’m being accused of being a Bully.
2) After our Banquet had ended in 2011, this woman came up to me and stated “Our middle son had a great time playing for you, and enjoyed his experience. Thank you.” - And I’m being accused of being a Bully
3) In an email dated 11-17-2011 from this woman, “I know our son looks up to you as his coach and wants you to know he is serious and committed to playing hockey this year. Anything you think is appropriate to say or do, that might let him know its OK for him to not go 100 percent all of the time for the next week or two would make me feel a lot better.” - And I’m being accused of being a Bully.
4) The accuser also has stated in an email dated 11-15-11 in regards to tryouts, “I think it’s a reflection of how much our son wants to play hockey this year that he would even consider for a minute risking his future health to get on the ice and tryout today when he knows that would be the worst thing he could do.”
But instead of taking this approach when their son did not make the team after granting them a later tryout, I found out through an email she sent out to select people on 1-28-12 that, the reason the accusers are doing this against me is, “Our son was cut from the team along with several other deserving juniors and we doubt he will ever play hockey again. But even more so, we are motivated to see this through because Pauletti and his assistant put our son’s future health at risk by how they required him to skate in a ‘tryout’ after the scheduled tryouts. We would never have risked re-injury to his knee and taken the abuse they dished out.”
Even though their son chose to participate in a baseball tournament prior to Halloween (which we found out after he was cut). He played in 5 games, hit, stole bases and pitched in one. Do you actually do these types of activities when you are not medically cleared? The player stated to 2 coaches and an administrator on the first day of tryouts that he did have school clearance and medical clearance, and that he would be at tryouts the following day.
Two very conflicting statements from this family, that seems to indicate their pattern of habitual lying.
5) Another person, whose family member chose to spoke at the last meeting, sent an email to me stating; “I thought it was an appropriate time of the year to send my sincere thanks to all of you. I want to start off by thanking you for being so proactive and getting the hockey team to participate in baseline concussion testing. I also want to thank you for giving our son the opportunity to participate on the swing line this year. He takes his role on the team very seriously. In addition, I want to thank you for the out of town trip, it was a great experience for the boys. I also wanted to let you know that we love the new “Grey” jackets. Happy Holidays to all of you and thank you again for a great start to the season.” - And I’m being accused of being a Bully
However, the actions of her family member this season are another matter. These actions are documented with the Superintendent, Principal, and Activities Director.
Next, on to the allegations of fraud. In her email dated 1-28-12, she also states “Why am I focusing on financial transactions? Think gangsters. They commit horrible crimes like murder, but it is so difficult to prosecute them on these charges that the only way to take them down is something like tax evasion. Maybe fraud will get their attention.”
My store has done business with the school district for several years. It has been mentioned that this is a conflict of interest. I don’t believe it is. I have always provided good service and great pricing to the school.
I know how important it is to get quality products as inexpensively as you can because Activities and school budgets are stretched so thin. Here are some examples. Helmets sold to the Baseball team for $21, wholesale for $19.30 or $17.15 (depending on the pricing you qualify for). Baseballs sold to the team were sold for $4.75 and wholesale for $4.98 or $4.43 (depending on the pricing you qualify for). 75 Soccer tryout tees for Girls soccer were charged $487.50, my cost was $461.25, I made $26.25. Hockey jerseys for the Girls team cost $3,229.75 and they were charged $3420.00.
Is it a conflict when a hockey coach sells insurance to a youth hockey association, or another Boys Hockey coach is selling to his school, or this family making the allegations to get contracts from the Roseville School District amounting to over $43,000 and City of Roseville for the City’s Ice Arena entryway?
Nowhere does it state in any school district policy a conflict of interest policy, except for the conduct of School Board Members in Policy 212. I believe that a conflict of interest in this case may exist with the accusers being a listed a Gold Star Supporter of an administrator.
I have recently met with the School Board attorney in regards to these allegations, and have discussed the few invoices in question. However; it is very interesting that two of the people that have wanted me removed from my position as Coach are the President and Treasurer of the Baseball Booster Club, two people at the heart of all the allegations. The jackets that were presented at the last school board meeting were ordered, delivered, and paid for. I’m not sure how that is a fraudulent situation.
I was questioned on a few invoices (listed), and will discuss 2 now.
1) Invoice #12025 – 30 Nike Conquer Jackets. The Activities office asked for fitting samples of this jacket, so staff members could try on and order. They took orders for 30 jackets and were invoiced on 10-17-2010 after they received them. 11S – 5M – 5L – 5XL – 4XXL. The check stub I received was issued on 11-16-2010, and paid for this order in the amount of $1500.00. 30 jackets at $50.00 each. (Cost was $42.50 each). However, when the school coded the account for the jackets to be paid, they made a big mistake and coded it to Baseball. These jackets were for RAHS Staff, not for the Baseball team. Just ask around, people in the district have them.
2) Invoice #12143 – 4 Bats and freight, and 12 Baseball team jackets. Bats and jackets were purchased in October. The coach knew the order was in in October, and he picked the Bats up in Nov/Dec time frame. I forgot to leave the jackets out for him to pick up. He came in the store to get these at a time when I had another employee working. In February of 2012, he ordered balls, and picked them up along with the jackets in early March. At no time did the coach say that he didn’t order any of it. The jackets were ordered, delivered, and paid for.
3) Invoice #12105 – 2011 Reunion. This was an invoice for $90 that the activities office approved for the 10th class reunion for the class of 2001. It included a Hat for $15 (retail $20), an Adidas Jacket for $40 (retail $60), a sweatshirt for $20 (retail $30), and a pair of sweatpants for $15 (retail $20). A woman with the 2001 reunion committee picked this up.
4) Invoice #12147 – Boys Hockey Bags. This was an invoice for Hockey Bags that had differing pricing on it. I received a donation from an anonymous donor to purchase bags for the boys hockey team, so the pricing listed offset the donation amount. The last time they were purchased was in 2004 and 2005, 42 of them. In that time span of 8 seasons, some broke or ripped, and through the years we did not have enough bags for everyone on the team. We purchased more in 2011, and now have bags for everyone.
5) Invoice #11903 – A pair of Reebok Goal Pads. This was purchased for $1,000 (Cost $950), from a grant given to the High School from the Roseville Community Fund in 2009. These pads were being used by a hockey player, and are part of the Athletics inventory, not the boys hockey inventory. These are pads that at any point can be used by any boys or girls player in case of need.
6) Invoice #11991 - A Bauer Goalie Helmet. This was purchased for $625 (retail $900 to $1000). This mask was used by a hockey player, and is part of the Athletics inventory, not the boys hockey inventory. This mask can be used at any time by any boys or girls player in case of need.
I believe that our School board needs to put an end to her bullying and harassment. There are Minnesota Statutes in place to grant relief.
1) Please reference Statute 609.795, letter, Telegram, or Package opening Harassment:
- with intent to abuse, disturb, or cause distress, repeatedly mails or delivers or causes the delivery by any means, including electronically, of letters, telegrams or packages
2) Also, Minnesota Statute 609.749. "Stalking" means to engage in conduct which the actor knows or has reason to know would cause the victim under the circumstances to feel frightened, threatened, oppressed, persecuted, or intimidated, and causes this reaction on the part of the victim regardless of the relationship between the actor and victim.
I believe that the School Board needs to take a good hard look at this situation as it has unfolded. It has taken too much time.
The accusers have been allowed to come forward over and over with unfounded allegations, which needs to be looked at by the School board. You need to immediately set into place some policies and procedures to protect all of your coaches from abuse such as this. Until that time occurs, everyone will be subject to chronic complaining and whining when a student doesn’t get what they think they deserve.
A blueprint has now been provided to anyone wanting to get rid of or complain about a coach. What might be considered an issue to one person may not be to another. Existing policy is vague.
This situation will change the way all coaches will coach in Roseville. Coaches will now have more eyes on them, and they will need to be concerned about how their actions and vocal inflections will be construed, as anything they do could be considered as bullying and intimidation. Helicopter parents such as the accusers need to let go and let their young adults take some accountability for their actions.
I have really enjoyed my time coaching at Roseville and thank the Administration and board for allowing me the opportunity to work with the students. We have not only focused on Athletics, but my teams have also excelled in the classroom, winning a State AA Boys Hockey Academic Championship, and many Silver Awards from the High School League.
I have worked with many exceptional young men, and know that I have made a positive difference in their lives. I look forward to my future in Roseville, and my day will come, in court, against the accusers."