DA: Teacher took $175K from union to feed gambling addiction

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GIBSONIA, Pa. (AP) — A business teacher has been charged with stealing $175,000 he blew on lottery tickets and at casinos while serving as treasurer of his union at suburban Pittsburgh school district.

Defense attorney Christopher Thomas says 44-year-old Edward Maritz Jr. is taking responsibility for the crimes because his "conscience caught up to him."

Maritz is on sabbatical from the Pine-Richland School District.

Allegheny County district attorney's detectives say Maritz confessed to keeping members' dues and to stealing the money by writing 157 checks to himself since June 2010. He was hired as a middle school teacher in August 2009.

Detectives say Maritz told them he is a "pathological gambler" and was caught in a "perfect storm" adding, "People trusted me and I took advantage of the trust they had in me."

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