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BOSTON (WBZ) ― A Chelsea police sergeant is accused of using funds from a high school football team's booster club for personal expenditures, Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley said Wednesday.

James Atkins, a Chelsea police sergeant on paid adminstrative leave from an unrelated investigation, is the former head coach of Chelsea High School's football team. He is accused of withdrawing about $10,000 from the team's booster club between 2004 and 2007 and spending it on personal travel and entertainment purposes.

The indictment alleges that Atkins had sole access to the team's non-profit bank account and that he used an ATM card numerous times to make unauthorized personal purchases.

Donations to the fund were meant to pay for equipment and uniforms for the team and to pay for activities for the players, including pre-season football camp.

An investigation into Atkins' purchases began after parents and school officials became suspicious of his handling of the team's money, Conley said.

"The charges against James Atkins are serious and troubling," Conley said. "Atkins abused the public trust in his role as a police officer, he violated the trust of the kids who looked up to him as a mentor and a coach, and the parents who put their faith in him."

High school officials did not renew his coaching contract when it expired in 2007.

Atkins was placed on paid administrative leave on Aug. 13, 2007, pending the result of both an internal affairs investigation and a separate investigation led by State police, though the circumstances around the investigation are unknown.

Atkins is scheduled to be arraigned on Oct. 22.
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