News

Briggs' attorney assails release of police report

Personal information not deleted from online posting, and timing of report before crucial hearing is

Release of police-investigation reports on the Palo Alto Children's Theatre was assailed as "outrageous" Friday by the attorney representing theater Director Pat Briggs for violation of her privacy and timing immediately prior to a crucial administrative hearing on her future job status.

Briggs' attorney, Jon Parsons of Palo Alto, said city officials failed to cross out Briggs' home address and personal information when the city decided to post the 120-page report on the city's Web site.

"I think it's absolutely outrageous" that the report was posted online with Briggs' birth date and home address and during the week preceding a crucial administrative hearing on her future status with the city, Parsons said in an interview with the Weekly.

But Parsons also expressed optimism about the outcome of the process.

"I still think the city's going to do the right thing before the figurative day is over," he told the Weekly.

The hearing was held Thursday and lasted several hours, he said.

The police summary report was released in response to state Public Records Act requests from the Palo Alto Weekly and Palo Alto Daily News. Names of city employees and others who were quoted in the report were blacked out ("redacted"), but Briggs' personal information was not obscured when the report was posted on the city's Web site.

Parson's full statement, dated June 6, follows:

"Pat Briggs welcomes the apparent release by the Police Department of the transcripts of interviews underlying Sgt. Yore's May 15, 2008 report. While it is unfortunate that the Police Department continues to release these materials in a piecemeal fashion while the administrative investigation remains underway, the transcripts permit the reader to see that the damning conclusions in the Yore report are not supported by the facts. The transcripts also confirm that Pat engaged in no intentional wrongdoing.

"In addition, the transcripts underscore that Pat never improperly used City money for personal purposes. A more detailed response to the Yore report will be forthcoming soon, but the transcripts show that Yore's report is factually misleading and unreliable. For example, the report accuses Pat of misusing City money for personal purposes. We now know that none of those charges is supported by the evidence.

"* The Allegation that Pat Spent City Money on Personal Items at Bazaar del Mundo Is False

"The Yore report at page 15 (stamped 00039) states that "Briggs and Litfin used City-funded traveler's checks for personal shopping while on three separate Theater trips to Southern California." This is untrue and Yore lacks any factual basis to say this.

"The children and staff would indeed go to Bazaar del Mundo on Southern California trips, but Pat did not buy any personal items there using trip-related traveler's checks. Every witness confirms that all personal items were purchased with personal funds.

"Pat believes that she may have purchased books for the Children's Theater at a bookstore at Bazaar del Mundo. Many people will attest that Pat bought books for the Children's Theater everywhere she went, particularly collections of fairy tales, folks legends, and local stories that could be used in acting and creative drama classes.

"Pat has not been shown any documents to support Yore's claim. Because Yore states as a fact that Pat made personal purchases at Bazaar del Mundo using City traveler's checks, he should have documents to support this claim. It is time for Yore to release copies of these receipts or other documents he relies on to support this statement, so the public can know who to believe.

"* The Allegation That Pat Deposited City Traveler's Checks Into Her Personal Account Is False

"The report at page 17 (stamped 00041) states in bold-faced type: "City-issued Traveler's Checks Deposited to Briggs' Personal Account." In fact, there is no evidence that Pat deposited city-issued traveler's checks into her personal bank account. All Yore can point to is that Pat's records (the City apparently has no records) show that one (1) traveler's check deposited by Pat had a number "in close proximity " to, but different from, a City-issued travelers check into her personal account. The evidence thus shows that this one check was not a City-issued check.

"The report does not provide any description of any evidence supporting Yore's conclusion. It relies instead on Yore's statement that Pat admitted "the traveler's checks she deposited were the result of her paying herself back (for expenses she paid while on the trips)." What that transcript says at pages 208-209 is garbled and largely unintelligible. It does not, however, support Yore's assertion that Pat deposited City-issued travelers' checks into her personal account. The public may now confirm for itself hat Yore's report does not accurately reflect the transcripts.

"* Pat Deposited City Warrants Into Her Personal Account To Obtain Travelers Checks for Trips Because of the Credit Union's Written Policy.

"Both the Yore report (page 6 stamped 00030) and Chief Johnson's May 5, 2008 press release try to make much of the fact that before Pat obtained traveler's checks for trips, she would deposit the City check (called a warrant) into her personal account at the Credit Union and then immediately take out traveler's checks. Pat did this because of the Credit Union's written policy that traveler's checks could not be purchased across the counter with a check, and the funds had to be taken out of the customer's account. Either the Police Department failed to obtain this Credit Union policy, or ignored it. The City checks had to be deposited before traveler's checks could be obtained. Once again, the complete record shows no misconduct on Pat's part.

"We will later have more o say on the Yore report and the Police Department's attempt to try this case in the press (after the District Attorney refused to proceed and publicly criticized the criminal investigation and work-up). For now, the community should read the transcripts that are available, see the job that Yore did in interviewing witnesses, and make their own conclusions. We believe that everyone who reads the transcripts will conclude that Pat did not engage in misconduct or intentional wrongdoing."

(Staff Writer Becky Trout can be e-mailed at btrout@paweekly.com and Weekly Editor Jay Thorwaldson can be e-mailed at jthorwaldson@paweekly.com.)

Comments

Posted by Howard, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 7, 2008 at 9:40 am

Does anyone know how these "transcripts" were created? Was there a stenographer present at the time? Are these contemporaneous notes? Summaries after the fact?


Posted by William, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jun 7, 2008 at 9:45 am

> "The children and staff would indeed go to Bazaar del Mundo
> on Southern California trips, but Pat did not buy any personal
> items there using trip-related traveler's checks. Every witness
> confirms that all personal items were purchased with personal funds.

Hmm .. so someone buys something with travelers' checks in store A, and gets cash back. Then goes into store B and buys something else in the presence of "witnesses". How are these "witnesses" supposed to know where the cash came from?

And this kind of illogic is supposed to pass the "smell test"?

> We believe that everyone who reads the transcripts will conclude
> that Pat did not engage in misconduct or intentional wrongdoing."

Maybe all of the transcripts should be posted on-line.

How anyone is supposed to conclude guilt or innocence from a single transcript where the interviewee does not confess to something or other also doesn't pass the "smell test".

"Suspension of disbelief" is the fundamental mechanism required for people to accept what they see and hear in a theatrical production.


Posted by link please, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 7, 2008 at 11:35 am

Please post link to transcripts- can't find on City Police website.
Thanks


Posted by Doubtful, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 7, 2008 at 11:36 am

"Stenographer": Howard stenographers were obsolete somewhere in the middle of the 20th century, we're in the 21st century now!! I'm sure Sgt. Yore used a computer.


Posted by Brenda H., a resident of Professorville
on Jun 7, 2008 at 2:25 pm

Uh - am I missing something??

"...but Pat did not buy any personal items there using trip-related traveler's checks. Every witness confirms that all personal items were purchased with personal funds."

Maybe the purchases weren't made with the travelers' checks themselves, but the report indicates that the staff used the checks to reimburse themselves later for their "expenses".

Personally, I don't see the difference.


Posted by Bye Bye Briggs, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 7, 2008 at 5:16 pm

Let's see Brigg's lawyer claims that release of the report was "outrageous".

Yet in the article it states:
"The police summary report was released in response to state Public Records Act requests from the Palo Alto Weekly and Palo Alto Daily News. Names of city employees and others who were quoted in the report were blacked out ("redacted"), but Briggs' personal information was not obscured when the report was posted on the city's Web site."

So, clearly Brigg's lawyer is outraged that the police complied with the law in releasing the report. Sounds a bit like the Friends of PACT and Briggs' supporters being outraged that Briggs' was expected to follow the law also.

Clearly rules, laws and regulations do not come into play with Ms Briggs. Of course when you are "irreplaceable", then you can do whatever you want.


Posted by narnia, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 7, 2008 at 5:29 pm

Au contraire , my dear Parsons, I have indeed concluded not surprisingly differently from you (what else can I conclude ? Why were checks found at Briggs house and why were there checks in the PACT robbery that Briggs never reported as stolen?)
And cash looking alike how can the any "witnesses" conclude it belonged to Ms. Briggs?

Police did indeed redact some of Briggs info from the file, the ink is just a little too transparent, but even if it didn't , her phone number is accessible to all in directories and if we dig in just a little all the rest is too is public records. I would have liked it better if a thicker ink was used but I really don't think a public person such as Briggs can make any claims on privacy. And it's not as if the personal information on the report enables anybody to check what's on the many personal bank accounts (13?) from amongst which Briggs transferred moneys. I am sure that this has nothing to do with doing laundry ....
Finally, there were complains from the FCT that they couldn't obtain the report. Now that the report is obtainable Briggs attorney complain is that THE REPORT IS OBTAINABLE.
This is a public document Mr. Parsons and Briggs can't have it both ways.
I am ready to hear Briggs herself on this to be fair. Unhappily, you choose and dissect from the report what you see fit to dispute .
So, why didn't Briggs report the stolen travel checks? and why on earth was she using travel checks which are valid forever and payable to the bearer, on signature confirmation (untraceable to the payee) if she had city issued credit card for PACT business?


Posted by narnia, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 7, 2008 at 5:50 pm

link
Web Link


Posted by Outside Observer, a resident of another community
on Jun 7, 2008 at 6:01 pm

Bye Bye Briggs,

Pat Briggs is a City employee, and by your very statement should have had her personal info redacted.

As far as I can see the selective redacting in this report is intentional with intent to sway public opinion. Yes, I've heard City Attorney Baum harking about the "Privacy" rights of those involved, while his selective redacting goes entirely contrary to privacy rights.

But then what would you expect from someone who couldn't rush fast enough to divulge Emily Harrison's discipline proceedings to the press, when he was one of the victims of Emily's supposed "transgressions". Do you think there might just be a conflict of interest there?

And lets not forget the next time a department head was investigated for "creating a hostile environment". In that case Baum and Bennest cooked up "oral report" excuse to prevent the press from obtaining any information regarding the "hostile environment" investigation. Now, if the department head in question were exonerated, do you think there would have been an "oral report"?.

Or how about the City claims investigator who won a $330,000 settlement against Baum and the City, part of which was based on retaliation.

And then there's the history at the PD. I don't need calluses on my fingers to go into details, but google Palo Alto Police and any of these: Hopkins, Verberra, Gailbraith, Munks and Bollanos.

Etc, etc, etc.

History does matter.

PAPD and the Attorney are believable only to the extent of their past honesty.









Posted by George, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 7, 2008 at 6:25 pm

It may seem whacky if someone leaves cash under a mattress. But though police might think this is weird or dumb, it is not evidence of criminal behavior or evidence that the money is not the owner's. Yore is an expert at jumping to conclusions and it has cost the city a bloody fortune.


Posted by narnia, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 7, 2008 at 6:42 pm

It was not briggs cash to leave under the mattress and she didn't report it stolen.
Accountability is what is demanded. If that is not all right with you....


Posted by Baffled citizeb, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 7, 2008 at 6:44 pm

Doesn't anyone understand that the burden of proof is on the City to prove guilt??? This whole trial by press has presumed guilt and required that the staff prove their innocence..And as the DA noted, the travelers checks found in the burglary were there because NO ONE HAD SPENT THEM!! But that didn't fit Yore's crazy theory so he ignored that
rather major detail. This is nuts.


Posted by Eileen K., a resident of Southgate
on Jun 7, 2008 at 7:31 pm

"Crazy theory"????? After reading the report, I can see a lot more than just "theory" here. And the evidence, so meticulously and painstakingly documented indicates that there's nothing at all "crazy" about this. The investigation was clearly warranted.

- "NO ONE HAD SPENT THEM!! "

So what? The checks are negotiable instruments, as good as cash. Cash which didn't belong to the holders, but to the City of Palo Alto (and therefore the residents of this city), which had been wrongfully obtained and held.

Are you suggesting that if someone steals your purse or wallet, or breaks into your house, and takes cash as a result, no crime has been committed until the cash has been spent?

Now, THAT's a "Crazy Theory".


Posted by hacker, a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 7, 2008 at 7:51 pm

To "Baffled citizeb" (as spelled in the comment):

I'm glad you clarified. Now I know that I can hack into your bank accounts, transfer the money to me, and as long as I don't spend the money (until the records are destroyed), there's no crime.

Thanks for the education


Posted by guy, a resident of another community
on Jun 7, 2008 at 7:58 pm

eileen - the syllogism you attempt between a home break in and the current scenario simply doesn't hold up to any remote level of scrutiny. Because in both of your examples, the cash has left your control and your property. In this case, the "cash"/checks did not leave city property, they were in the theatre.

william - the burden of proof lies on the city, all a defendant needs is a plausible answer to establish reasonable doubt. Might there be something "smelly" in such explanations? Yes, but that's how our system works. It's not the court's job to prove innocence, it's the court's job, and I believe ours as well, to prove guilt before we can act. It can be impossible to prove innocence of a crime, save for an alibi as to when something may have happened, and then sometimes it still doesn't prove anything (For an example, I allege that you hate children, puppies and rainbows. Prove to me that this is false). As such, only when guilt of a crime can be proven should people feel comfortable condemning someone's actions.

narnia - feel free to take issue with the manner in which records were kept and finances overseen, but, these are issues that can be fixed with minimal effort and future oversight by the city. Terminating dedicated employees who between them have over 60 years in public service is like using capital punishment to dissuade speeding on the highway. Would it work? Yes. But there are far more effective and proportional responses to problems such as this. As it should be eminently clear, most of the allegations made by Yore are unsubstantiated (any and all vacations WERE made, not may have been made, WERE made, using taxpayer dollars. In fairness to Yore, maybe he was simply confused because the employees are paid using taxpayer dollars, and he thinks that is embezzlement too, wouldn't surprise me...) and while there may have been issues with finances, they are easily fixable


Posted by guy, a resident of another community
on Jun 7, 2008 at 8:02 pm

hacker - see my response to eileen. i'd hoped you would have seen just how inadequate eileen's comparison was on your own though. i mean really, even my kid sister saw how hopelessly inept an argument it was.


Posted by narnia, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 7, 2008 at 8:18 pm

Guy,

please be a little more informed. There is no question of "guilt". the criminal case was dropped. The case is now administrative only.

and,

there were travel checks in Briggs house

and

she , not the city, had the control of the property. It was her duty to look after it. But she didn't even report checks stolen...

Briggs did fail in her duties.


Posted by Kat, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jun 7, 2008 at 9:20 pm

I'm just waiting for the IRS investigation into the Friends. Excuses like "I forgot" or "I didn't understand" don't cut it with them.


Posted by narnia, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 7, 2008 at 10:20 pm

Kat,

Me too. Since they are a non-profit they have to abide by IRS regulations. As I said in other posts the absurdity of the FCT and Briggs positions is such that instead of deflating the issue
they are calling attention to it. Pretty soon it will come to the attention of the fiscal services.
IRS might also ask Briggs about the contents of her many accounts. Go and explain it to them.


Posted by Kat, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jun 8, 2008 at 2:04 am

Could it be that our District Attorney is deferring to a "higher power"?

After reading (thoroughly) the posted report, it's obvious that there may be some "irregularities" that would get the attention of the IRS. It wouldn't surprise me at all if an audit was conducted that would deprive FCT of it's tax-exempt status.

But, that's trivial.

Have you heard the four-letter word "RICO"???? (For the uninitiated, that's the federal anti-racketeering statute). Reading the report, the groundwork has been set for an investigation, and prosecution under that statute (embezzlement, money laundering........).

If such an investigation and prosecution takes place, those involved will wish that they'd been prosecuted by Santa Clara Co. on simple embezzlement charges.


Posted by Jim H, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 8, 2008 at 4:09 am

I only wish that I could be the guy who personally takes the Sergeant's badge off of Sgt. Michael Yore's shirt.

But...

A few seconds after doing that, I want to be the guy who pins a Lieutenant's badge on his shirt to replace it.

The report was impressive. There aren't many police officers who would put the time and effort into a case to put together a report that was so well documented and substantiated as the report I read.

That isn't the kind of "guts and glamour" police work we see on TV. It's the kind of police work that actually solves cases, and ultimately, keeps us all safe.

Can anyone imagine the months of boredom and tedium that went into compiling a report such as that? Yet, it was done. And, it was done with a level of thoroughness and professionalism that is rarely seen.

I, for one, am proud that such an officer would choose my community as his place to work. If I'm ever the victim of a crime, I hope that he, and similarly dedicated individuals like him, are chosen to investigate it.


Posted by Respect, a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 8, 2008 at 7:41 am

Puplic pressure got Briggs out of the mess. The report otherwise is quite incriminatiing.

If Briggs has some respect left she would resign ASAP.


Posted by Janice Wilson, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 8, 2008 at 8:26 am

Going forward what will the "friends" do when the cash cow Briggs is gone?
The forwarding of the performance receipts was a generous gift.

What lessons are being taught to "the children"?
That embezzlement is Ok if you have a good reason.

These whole mess seems to forget the needs of the children and the taxpayer of Palo Alto.




Posted by Margaret, a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 8, 2008 at 12:37 pm

JIM H, I am sure must be Yore,

How could anyone in their right mind call this mess of a compiled, confusing, inaccurate, slop of false judgments and accusations of a report impressive, except for one who wrote it.

Come clean JIM H, and no, no promotions for Yore, except maybe out the door.


Posted by Joe, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jun 8, 2008 at 1:08 pm


*** inaccurate, slop of false judgments

The report can be accessed by page and line number. Please list all of the inaccurate statements you can find in the report.


Posted by Jim H, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 8, 2008 at 1:37 pm

No "Margaret", I am not Yore. I don't know him, I've never met him, and I probably wouldn't recognize him if he walked past me on the sidewalk.

But, for reasons I won't disclose here, I'm no stranger to police reports. In most cases, the author is struggling to put together two or three coherent sentences describing a car wreck. This report was impressive.

I'm sorry that you seem to feel that a police report should reflect "public opinion" - particularly your opinion. But that's the advantage of hiring professionals to do the job. They have the courage to ignore the prevailing "opinion" and do the job correctly.

I stand by my previous statements, that the investigation was professional, thorough, and well documented. And, from what I've read, I have to agree with a previous poster that this may well constitute a violation of the Federal Rico anti-racketeering laws, which I hope will be pursued, and prosecuted if appropriate.


Posted by common sense, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 8, 2008 at 2:27 pm

When will the city be reimbursed for all the money from Briggs, and the Friends group?

It seems to me that the use of the costume sales & extra performances are cleaerly city money, and the Friends were suppose to fund raise that.

How many of the children who went on those trips are or were children of people in the Friends organization?



Posted by Jim H, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 8, 2008 at 3:33 pm

"Margaret"

You called the report

"a compiled, confusing, inaccurate, slop of false judgments and accusations"

Huh?

What's confusing about it? I've read it about 3 times - sometimes more than that, word by word. I'm not confused.

Inaccurate? How so? Please share that with us.

A "slop of false judgments and accusations""

What? What's false in it?

Please document your statements. Otherwise, they sound totally idiotic.


Posted by Outside Observer, a resident of another community
on Jun 8, 2008 at 4:18 pm

Jim H,

Why yes, it was such an outstanding piece of police work that the DA refused to prosecute.



Posted by narnia, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 8, 2008 at 4:48 pm

Outside Observer,

please don't twist the DA's response. It's not the case of the DA "refusing " to persecute as if the DA was stubbornly saying " I will not". No, the DA felt that the investigation had been warranted but that since the FCT could always say they allowed Briggs to charge (sometimes two or three times ) for the same item there wouldn't be a good chance of conviction. In other words the FCT and Briggs would cover for each other. The DA was merely pragmatic. It doesn't mean that there was no embezzlement. For other charges the statute of limitations applied.

The investigation is now an administrative one- so the matter of guilt or lack of thereof is not applicable ( might it be rekindled , specially as we learn more about the Friends operational mode? ) . Please remember that the PACT moneys crossed state lines.

I think kat is right when she says"If such an investigation and prosecution takes place, those involved will wish that they'd been prosecuted by Santa Clara Co. on simple embezzlement charges"
T


Posted by William, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jun 8, 2008 at 5:34 pm

> No, the DA felt that the investigation had been warranted but
> that since the FCT could always say they allowed Briggs to
> charge (sometimes two or three times ) for the same item there
> wouldn't be a good chance of conviction.

The so-called "Friends" refused to be interviewed, so there is nothing on the record as to what they might have said. Moreover, the DA would not have been prosecuting any of the multiple submissions of bills (presumably paid by the Friends). The DA would have been prosecuting (possibly) the multiple billings submitted to the City.

The DA really has let down the people of Palo Alto on this one.


Posted by Outside Observer, a resident of another community
on Jun 8, 2008 at 7:15 pm

Narnia and William,

Oh, Narnia, gotta love your freudian slip: "case of the DA "refusing " to persecute" :)

Seriously though, if the DA won't prosecute, why hasn't the City filed a civil suit? It has a lesser standard of guilt, and was the mechanism that finally did get OJ.

As for the IRS or Rico, that will never happen, as it will open a flood gate to the City's financial practices.

All the City can do to save face is what they are doing. Putting it over to an "Administrative" process where the Judge, Jury and Executioner are all appointed by Benest and Baum.

My personal hope is that this will go to a County Grand Jury investigation, but I fear that path might not be so clear-cut. Emily Harrison is now a County executive. Her former employer puts her in a potential conflict of interest if she does have any input on Grand Jury investigations. Emily, are you out there? Can you comment?





Posted by narnia, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 8, 2008 at 7:49 pm

it actually was not a freudian slip. It was a double entendre.


Posted by anon., a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2008 at 10:39 pm

Briggs needs to reimburse the City for all funds she collected multiple times (turned the same receipts in several times for reimbursement). Also - how do we know people in other depts don't do this?. Seems the City needs to audit better.


Posted by William, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jun 9, 2008 at 2:40 am

> Emily Harrison is now a County executive. Her former employer
> puts her in a potential conflict of interest if she does have
> any input on Grand Jury investigations. Emily, are you out there

The Civil Grand Jury is a joke in Santa Clara County. It is unlikely they they would take this case, as the DA has already claimed that it is "too complicated".

Emily Harrison's being a County employee has nothing to do with the matter--since the Grand Jury is an independent entity, not subordinate to the County.

For the Civil Grand Jury to become involved, residents in Palo Alto would have to refer the matter to the Civil Grand Jury--it would not simply start investigating the matter on its own.

This situation has revealed a real mess in this department. Coupled with the mess in the Utility, which was effectively covered up by the City Manager's Office--the Benest Administration will leave he stage with little to remember it other than scandal.

The City Council never showed any interest in the Utilities scandal. Never spoke about it once in open session. So, while the Council (with Friends CPA Jack Morton and Friends friend Larry Klein sitting on the Council) it's unlikely that the public will learn much more about the how all of this happened.

The Police report hinted at a number of issues which the Administrative Investigation should look into, but generally the reports of internal investigatons are not released to the public.

What is needed is a complete operational Audit by an outside firm.


Posted by Bye Bye Briggs, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2008 at 8:49 am

Looks like the city Council will be looking into this again tonight:

Web Link

AS William points out with Morton and Klein on the city council the theatre staff has nothing to worry about.
Klein makes his feelings clear in the above article and Morton is quoted once again attacking the probe in today's Daily Post.

Clearly these council member have no problems with conflicts of interest and/or ethics.


Posted by More Jumping to conclusions, a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 9, 2008 at 10:41 am

The responses to "Baffled" were again assertions that the travelers' checks were funded with city money; the checks were backed by money from the Friends and parents. The police suspicions were understandable, but they needed to have an open ended investigation to ascertain the facts before jumping to conclusions and now trying to get "we the people" to jump with them ..
Before casting aspersion on the Friends, remember that this organization worked for over 10 years to raise money for the first addition to the theatre since it was built in the 1930's..a gift worth over a millin dollars, which we the tax payers did not have to pay for. As a long time resident of the city I am saddened and angry at the lack of knowledge shown by bloggers who attack the Friends.


Posted by Sick of City Govt, a resident of Ventura
on Jun 9, 2008 at 11:39 am


I couldn't believe my eyes when I clicked the link to read the
referenced article.

By "addressing" the situation, our city govt is planning to spend
$$$ to audit the *police department*!

Leaving aside the issue of whether or not the DA should have filed
charges, the police report I read (in its entirety) contained
ample evidence of city misfeasance and malfeasance in their oversight
of PACT.

So, by trying to shift blame to the PAPD, our city council is
shamelessly trying to shift blame away from themselves and the city
staff.

Shameless!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Posted by Revolving bums, a resident of Community Center
on Jun 9, 2008 at 12:57 pm

Why is it that whenever city council seats are up for election and I vote to throw the bums out, new bums appear?

Jack Morton and Larry Klein should excuse themselves from any further discussion. Councilmembers John Barton, Peter Drekmeier, Yiaway Yeh, Greg Schmid, Patrick Burt, Sid Espinosa and Yoriko Kishimoto should call them on it. This is a conflict of interest that the entire council is being complacent about.


Posted by Old Timer, a resident of Green Acres
on Jun 9, 2008 at 3:42 pm

Can someone please let Narnia know what a double entendre
actually consists of? Her closeted opinions toward lionizing the persecutors deserve such english.

As for Sgt. Yore's police report, since when did police start to commingle their own speculation within their findings? Wouldn't any American jury be told to disregard any such speculation?

I suppose we're long past the days when "Just the facts, maam" suffice.


Posted by Outside Observer, a resident of another community
on Jun 9, 2008 at 4:43 pm

Revolving Bums,

Next time vote for Victor Frost. At least you can have a clear conscious about electing a bum.



Posted by narnia, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 9, 2008 at 5:57 pm

old timer,
My closeted opinions( as you call them) , are directed to those who know a bit o'latin and realize that persecute and prosecute are originally the same , though their semantic evolution rendered them used in different settings. Prosecutor became a legal term and persecutor (keeping on annoying somebody for example) a descriptive one. The prosecutor persecutes and given a chance the persecutor would like a prosecution.


Posted by Outside Observer, a resident of another community
on Jun 9, 2008 at 6:12 pm

Narnia,

When you find yourself in a hole, it's best to stop digging.





Posted by Bystander, a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2008 at 3:20 am

Outside Observer,

Hopefully Victor will still be around for the next election. He may no longer be a PA resident if they run him out of town.


Posted by Maleficent, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jun 10, 2008 at 10:06 am

Narnia,

What is Latin for pedant?

Does it ever get crowded in there with the lion and the wardrobe?


Posted by Former Palo Alto Resident, a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2008 at 12:07 am

Obviously many of you have never met or worked with Ms. Briggs or you would not be judging her so harshly.
If reimbursements were duplicated, that was certainly an accounting error. Regarding the traverlers checks, they were NOT spent.
Ms. Briggs did NOT engage in any intentional wrongdoing. Pat Briggs has done wonderful things for the children of the Palo Alto (and neighboring communities). What have you done?


Posted by big picture, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 11, 2008 at 3:54 pm

I think Former Palo Alto Resident has struck a somewhat compelling chord. Why is everyone getting worked up about this?
Anyone who has ever met this person knows how tirelessly dedicated she was to the welfare of the children who benefited from this program. She created a safe place for every person who walked through those doors. It's easy to forget that there are people in need even in places like Palo Alto. This is a fact, however, that she never lost sight of. It would be embarrassingly misinformed to say that she had her personal interests in mind.
It is possible that funds were unintentionally misdirected. Either way, one cannot deny that Pat Briggs has been an asset to our community.
Fostering a love of the arts in our children? Teaching them to work (very hard) together for a common goal? How can we ever adequately thank her for her lifetime of service?
I think the compassion and forward-mindedness of our youth is what sets Palo Alto apart from other places. One cannot deny that she has been an influence in more lives than we have time to count. For that we shall be forever indebted to her.
If there is blame to be cast, let her take responsibility. It is my hope that this blight will not overshadow the undeniable good she has done here, on a very personal level, over the years.


Posted by shifty defense, a resident of Community Center
on Jun 11, 2008 at 3:55 pm

Could a PACT defender/supporter please explain something: Who do the travelers checks belong to? The City? PACT? Friend of PACT? Pat Briggs?

At one point the defense was that the money actually belongs to Briggs as reimbursement, so it's okay that she's sloppy with how she keeps her travelers checks. Someone (Briggs?) also claimed that it was safer to keep her checks at work than at home.

At another point, the defense shifts to how there's no wrongdoing because none of the checks were spent. Presumably with this argument, there's some sort of acknowledgement that the checks don't belong to Briggs but rather to, um, the City or PACT or Friends. ??

When the defense shifts around like this, it looks highly suspicious.

Can someone please explain why the defense is so inconsistent? It doesn't seem like they've chosen a story to stick to, at least not yet.


Posted by Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 11, 2008 at 3:58 pm

Big P

She was doing her job (some may say very well inasfaras the kids are concerned, but not so well at her business skills). There are many, many people in Palo Alto who do equally good service to our kids as volunteers, not because it is part of their job. I am talking about coaches at volunteer sports, but I am sure that there are many others.

She is not that wonderful, just doing more than her job calls for, perhaps......


Posted by Good Point, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jun 11, 2008 at 4:22 pm

The core problem is that she is a CITY EMPLOYEE who, if the reports are even half true, committed multiple firing offenses. Being a nice person, long-standing, influenced kids, etc. - it doesn't matter. A city employee who plays that loose with city money, contracts, etc., they have to be gone. The precedent is just too terrible. Try justifying to a labor arbitrator that utility employee X should be fired for fiscal mismanagement, since they just aren't the wonderful person Pat Briggs was. No thanks.

Let's get it over with and get PACT off the city dole. Then the non-profit board can deal with this nonsense going forward if they choose.


Posted by elementary, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 11, 2008 at 4:23 pm

SD: The traveller cheques belong to PACT until they're 7 years old, at which point the city destroys the records and they become fair game for anyone to cash. which explains why so many cheques were unspent. Don't think of it as sloppy book keeping - think of it as an "aging process".


Posted by shifty defense, a resident of Community Center
on Jun 15, 2008 at 4:32 pm

It's very telling that no one has taken on my questions about who owns the travelers checks. This is still a mystery, one that the defense doesn't want to touch. I wonder why.....


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