The Greenport High School math teacher who was arrested on a grand larceny charge Saturday afternoon after stealing cash from the wallet of another patron at a restaurant in Southold was released on his own recognizance following his arraignment Sunday morning.
Gordon Haas, 54, of East Marion appeared wearing blue jeans, tennis shoes and a hooded purple and gold Greenport mathematics sweatshirt at his arraignment before Judge William Price, who ordered him released on his own recognizance. He is expected to return to court Friday before Judge Rudolph Bruer.
Mr. Haas, who has at least two prior arrests, admitted to the owner of Founders Tavern on Main Road in Southold that he stole the cash after another patron reported it missing, according to a source familiar with the incident.
The other patron had accidentally left his iPhone and the wallet, which has $570 cash in it, behind in the bathroom around 1 p.m., the source said. Mr. Haas found the items in the bathroom, removed the cash from the wallet and hid the wallet and iPhone in the tank of the toilet, the source said.
After the other patron realized the items were missing he searched the bathroom and later found them inside the tank. The iPhone was broken and the cash had been removed from the wallet, the source said.
The owner of the bar asked his patrons who took the money and Mr. Haas, who was seated at the bar, confessed after the owner said security cameras set up outside the bathroom would indicate who took the money, the source said.
He was charged with fourth degree grand larceny, police said.
Mr. Haas was previously arrested in December 2007 on an aggravated DWI charge following an early evening incident in which he attempted to flee the scene on foot, according to a prior Suffolk Times report. He was also arrested on a DWI charge in January 1990 and later that month pleaded guilty to a driving while ability impaired charge, we reported at the time.
He told Judge Price he had one prior DWI conviction during his arraignment Sunday.
A 27-year teacher at Greenport High School, Mr. Haas is the chairman of the mathematics department and a past president of the teachers union.