By Walt Hunter

COATESVILLE, Pa. (CBS) — Following a  year long grand jury investigation, the Chester County District Attorney has filed criminal charges against 68-year-old Richard Como, the former Superintendent of the Coatesville School District, and Thomas Donato, a former athletic director.

Both surrendered to investigators Monday afternoon, declining comment, along with their attorneys, on theft and other charges.

Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan says the pair considered the financially struggling school district, in his words,”their kingdom,” and they stole money in various ways over a number of years.

Both Como and Donato left their jobs in 2013 after, the DA says, racist and sexist texts were found on their phones.

Among the alleged criminal schemes, Hogan claims, Como stole district funds to buy gold football championship rings worth more than $33,000,despite the fact the team, in 2012, did not win the state championship game.

Donato accused of taking $5,000 in cash, stuffed into an envelope, money, Hogan says, intended for the school district as rent for an athletic event.

The District Attorney claiming Donato used the money to pay off gambling debts.

Both suspects are now free after signing their own $250,000 bail. They are scheduled for preliminary hearings January 7.

Coatesville School officials say with a new superintendent taking over last June,major reforms are underway,but they caution it will take time because of the damage that’s been done.

You may also be interested in these stories:
[display-posts category=”news” wrapper=”ul” posts_per_page=”5″]