Tom Gang

Sierra College athletic director arrested

Published: Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 2B
Last Modified: Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012 - 8:51 am

Sierra College officials put Athletic Director Tom Gang on administrative leave Wednesday after Gang was arrested a day earlier on suspicion of felony domestic violence.

Gang, 45, was hired just over a year ago despite accusations of physical and verbal abuse of employees at Mendocino College in Ukiah, where he had been employed.

Sierra officials used a thorough vetting process when hiring Gang, said Sue Michaels, a spokeswoman for the Rocklin junior college.

"He was essentially proven innocent of those charges," Michaels said of the 2011 accusations.

Gang was arrested Tuesday at his Auburn residence shortly after a 4:29 a.m. call to 911, officials said.

He was booked into the Placer County jail on three felony counts: assault with a deadly weapon, inflicting corporal injury and false imprisonment.

"Gang had a disagreement with the victim, which escalated to the point of Gang allegedly threatening the victim with a handgun," read the Auburn Police Department press release on the incident.

He was released on $75,000 bail, said a spokeswoman for the Placer County Sheriff's Department.

Gang joined the Sierra College staff in 2011, replacing John Volek, who retired.

At the time of his hiring, accusations were still swirling. In May 2011, Gang was accused of assaulting and verbally abusing a Mendocino College security guard.

Gang was cited but not arrested for that incident, during which he allegedly aggressively twisted security guard Christine Risch's arm during a verbal altercation.

An investigator hired by the campus to look into the incident said video evidence proves there was no assault.

Another complaint came from a part-time math instructor, who also coached women's soccer. He claimed Gang was verbally abusive.

Michaels said those claims were determined to be unfounded and his references were glowing.

Mendocino College coaches, booster club members and the chief of the Ukiah police and fire departments called The Bee in 2011 in support of Gang.

While Michaels stood by the college's hiring process, campus officials moved swiftly, placing Gang on paid administrative leave.

"Tom has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation," Michaels said.

"He is no longer on campus and will remain on administrative leave until the situation is resolved."

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