Principal Files Defamation Suit Against Ex-Coach 11-12-2010 - WNEM TV 5

Principal Files Defamation Suit Against Ex-Coach 11-12-2010


TUSCOLA COUNTY, Mich.-- A local high school principal and varsity football coach accused of driving drunk in Bay County is now filing a lawsuit of his own.
Roger E. Bearss II, 45, is accusing former Millington High football coach Tim Furno and others of defaming him.
The lawsuit claims Furno and his wife, Suzanne Furno, and Troy and Shannon Bonadurer, of making false statements about him. Shannon Bonadurer is also a trustee on the Millington Village Council.
Bearss says the defendants spread rumors that he was having a sexual relationship with a Millington High student.
Millington Community Schools Superintendent Lawrence R. Kroswek told the Saginaw News that a district investigation into the rumor concluded there was no wrongdoing by Bearss.
The suit, which was filed Oct. 12, also accuses the Furnos of telling others that Bearss paid $45,000 to a Millington assistant football coach to “take the fall” for a drunken-driving allegation, according to published reports.
Bearss is currently facing a drunken driving charge in Bay County after Bay City police stopped him for driving the wrong way on a one-way street the evening of July 25.
Bearss was also convicted of one count of impaired driving in Michigan's Benzie County back in 2003. At the time, Bearss was employed with the Frankenmuth School District.
He become the principal in Millington in 2007 and succeeded Furno as the coach after the 2009 season.
Millington plays host to Madison Heights Madison Friday at 7 p.m. in the regional championship round of the MHSAA football postseason.
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