When the Seton Hall men’s basketball team lost to Texas Tech on their home court in the National Invitational Tournament, student fans at Prudential Center began a loud chant of “Fire Bobby.”
Gonzalez was fired by former University President Msgr. Robert Sheeran the next morning. That would not be the last time that Pirates fans would see the coach who, just five months earlier, declared the Pirates an NCAA Tournament team. Since his termination on March 16, Gonzalez has managed to keep himself and the Pirates in the news.
Three weeks following his termination, Gonzalez filed a lawsuit against the University for wrongful termination.
Two months following the initial lawsuit, the University filed a counter claim stating that Gonzalez failed to pay back a $50,000 loan that the school gave him when he was hired in 2006.
Though this lawsuit was settled last week, with the terms of the agreement not being disclosed, Gonzalez still finds himself in legal trouble.
On July 6, Millburn Police charged Gonzalez with shoplifting and criminal mischief.
Police say that on June 29, Gonzalez stole a $1400 satchel from the Polo Ralph Lauren store at the Short Hills Mall.
Gerald Krovatin, Gonzalez’s attorney, told the Associated Press that the charges are a “series of misunderstandings.”
“He was not taken into custody,” Krovatin said to the AP. “He was not handcuffed. He was not arrested. He was issued summonses and complaints and went home.”
The AP report also said a shoplifting charge is punishable by up to five years in jail as a third-degree offense, according to the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. However, the spokeswoman for the office also said the case can be downgraded, heard in county court or heard in municipal court.
Last week, The Star-Ledger reported that prosecutors offered Gonzalez an undisclosed plea bargain in the case. Judge Michael A. Petrolle ordered the plea bargain to be placed into the court’s transcripts.
Gonzalez also requested pre-trial intervention, which reportedly could drop the charges all together.
“We have a pending PTI application,” Anna Cominsky, Gonzalez’ attorney, said to The Star-Ledger. “I don’t have an opinion on the offer because we’re waiting to hear on the PTI.”
No new court date has been released in this case.
Tim LeCras can be reached at email@example.com.