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Teachers Off the Hook in Case Involving Free Groceries

PITTSBURGH - Two Pittsburgh high school teachers accused of trading grades for free groceries from a student who worked at a supermarket were found innocent Wednesday, The Associated Press reports.

The teachers, John Gasbarrini and John Banaszak, had been charged with theft and were suspended without pay. The judge cited a lack of evidence in the case that the teachers gave the teen-ager higher grades.

The student, 18-year-old Thomas Weaver, testified that it was his idea to place his hand over bar codes on some grocery items as the teachers checked out on several occasions last year.

Ron Weismann, a manager of the Shop 'n Save, testified he saw Weaver put his hands over bar codes on items when Banaszak was checking out. Weismann said Banaszak was charged only $10.53 for $31.37 worth of groceries.

Police said Weaver told them he had given Gasbarrini a discount of about $80 on four shopping trips.

Weaver said he knew what he was doing was wrong but "did it because I liked them."
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