Greenport math teacher returns to work after guilty plea

02/04/2015 9:31 AM |
Gordon Haas is led into Southold Town Justice Court following his October arrest. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

Gordon Haas is led into Southold Town Justice Court following his October arrest. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

The Greenport High School math teacher who was arrested on a grand larceny charge in October for stealing more than $500 and an iPhone from another patron at a Southold restaurant returned to work this week. 

In a letter addressed to parents, Greenport Superintendent David Gamberg announced Gordon Haas, 54, of East Marion returned to his full-time teaching duties Monday.

“We are confident Mr. Haas will resume teaching at the level we have come to expect in Greenport,” Mr. Gamberg wrote.

Mr. Haas, who has at least two prior arrests, was initially arraigned on a fourth-degree grand larceny charge in Southold Town Justice Court.

Those charges were dismissed in Southold court after Mr. Haas was indicted in county court, according to court records. He pleaded guilty in December to a lesser charge of misdemeanor petit larceny and is due back for sentencing on Feb. 28, according to records.

Mr. Haas was charged after he admitted to the owner of Founders Tavern on Main Road in Southold that he stole cash from another patron while he was at the bar that Saturday afternoon, according to a previous Suffolk Times article.

The patron mistakenly left his iPhone and the wallet, which had $570 cash in it, in the bathroom. 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, police had said.

Mr. Haas, who was seated at the bar, confessed after the owner told patrons security cameras set up outside the bathroom would indicate who took the money, according to the article.

The longtime teacher 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 previous Suffolk Times article. 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 in October.

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.

Mr. Haas had not been back to work since his Oct. 4 arrest. In his absence, other Greenport math teachers covered his classes, Mr. Gamberg said in the letter.

Mr. Gamberg declined additional comment, saying “it’s a personnel matter.” Greenport school board president Dan Creedon did not return calls for comment.

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