Photo: Stamford Police Department Photo
STAMFORD – There’s more legal trouble for Charles Pia Sr., the president of a local Babe Ruth Girls Softball chapter.
On Monday, Pia, 62, of Windell Place, was arrested on a charge of third-degree larceny stemming from allegations related to his involvement with the Stamford Babe Ruth Girls Softball League.
It was Pia’s second arrest in two weeks. On March 29, he was arrested on on charges of embezzling softball league money for his own use. Police said Pia stole more than $1,500 from the nonprofit. He was charged with fifth-degree larceny, as well as failure to register as a charitable organization and misallocation of property of a charitable organization for private use.
Police said the latest charge came from a grocery store, located on the East Side of Stamford, that claims they were approached by Pia in 2015 to cater an event for the league.
“Pia allegedly requested a price reduction as the event was for the girls softball league. The grocery store reduced the catering price by $2,000 and charged the league $4,000,” police said in a release.
“Despite numerous attempts to obtain payment from Pia the invoice was never satisfied. The store’s owners filed a formal complaint and Monday on the strength of an arrest warrant Pia was charged with larceny in the 3rd degree and was released on a $25,000 bond.”
He is scheduled to appear in court on April 18.
On his earlier arrest on the larceny charge, Pia said he has been wrongly accused and the charges stem from disgruntled parents seeking to remove him from the league.
He was shocked by the charges, he said.
“I was 100 percent surprised. I’ve talked to the police on and off for the last two years,” Pia said.
His attorney, Stephan Seeger said that “emotions run high in youth sports, and clearly this case has an ‘out to get ya’ aspect.’”
“Charlie has been an active leader in Babe Ruth for 20 years, during which time he has been honored and recognized for bringing girls baseball to our community,” Seeger said in a statement. “We intend to conduct our own investigation into the allegations that precipitated these charges. The exaggerated complaints of a few disgruntled baseball parents who don’t like the rules, should not be allowed to undermine what for Charlie has been a lifelong effort to serve the community in a charitable and positive way.”
More details of Pia’s March 29 arrest were included a seven-page arrest affidavit.
Previous reporting by John Nickerson and Barry Lytton was used in this story.
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