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Alcohol charges against coach with DA’s office

Matthew Ryan Summers-Johnson
Matthew Ryan Summers-Johnson

HEPPNER, Ore. – The Morrow County Sheriff’s Office has turned its investigation into allegations that Riverside High School coach Matthew Ryan Summers-Johnson provided alcohol to underage male athletes over to District Attorney Justin Nelson. The coach has been arrested on an outstanding warrant from Clatsop County for a probation violation involving a driving under the influence conviction. Sheriff Ken Matlack says that when they picked up Summers-Johnson, they asked him about the local allegations.

“He elected not to make a statement, which is his right to do,” Matlack said. “Based on the information the detective had learned, he submitted his report to the Morrow County District Attorney’s Office.”

Riverside High School is in Boardman, but Matlack says the Boardman Police Department requested the sheriff’s office investigation in order to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest.

“Apparently, some of the city police staff are coaches at the high school,” Matlack said. “They said they would like for us to just take a look at this complaint.”

The investigation began on Feb. 9, and Summers-Johnson was placed on suspension by the Morrow County School District on the same date. He had been hired over the summer of 2015.

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