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Video exclusive: An interview with Pat Briggs

Original post made on Aug 6, 2008

In an exclusive interview, Pat Briggs, former Children's Theatre director, reflects on the police investigation into embezzlement at the theater and the past seven months.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, August 6, 2008, 12:23 PM

Comments (8)

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Posted by Diane
a resident of another community
on Aug 6, 2008 at 2:19 pm

I am so proud to have worked for Pat Briggs and Michael Litfin at the Children's Theatre. The 2 and half years I worked at the Children's theatre were the highlight of my working career of over 30 years. In all that time I have never known such dedication, integrity, hard work and passion as that I witnessed daily with the Staff.

I wish nothing but the very best for Pat, Alison and Rich.I sencerely hope that the City will re-instate Rich Curtis and really allow the community and the theatre to heal.

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Posted by Lois
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 6, 2008 at 3:39 pm

"She'd welcome a full audit today," Pat Briggs said in the interview. Well, it looks like she's going to get it. Below is a quote from the PA Weekly's article on the newly hired City Auditor:-

"One of Lynda Brouchoud's (the newly hired City Auditor) first assignments will be to examine the cash-handling and travel practices and procedures throughout the city, with a focus on non-City Hall departments. She also will supervise a review of the city's relationships with non-profit support groups, an audit sparked by the Children's Theater imbroglio."

I hope the City will wait until Ms. Briggs is finally gone next January to release the new auditor's report. Then we can clean house and move on with new staff in charge at the Children's Theater. And hopefully with new procedures in place so a similar debacle doesn't happen again.

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Posted by David Gomez
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 6, 2008 at 4:30 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 6, 2008 at 4:52 pm

"Now, with an office across the courtyard from the Children's Theatre, Briggs is working with Arts and Sciences Manager Linda Craighead to select a replacement for Litfin out of the 91 applicants for the assistant-director job."

You mean someone who has diffulty keeping track of the CT's finances is selecting the theater's new assistant director!! I wonder if she'll ask the applicants if they can handle money honestly. I hope Linda Craighead is the one who is really in charge of this selection.

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Posted by Matt Perl
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 6, 2008 at 6:27 pm

I began working at the Children's Theatre from age ten in 1969 until I was about twenty-one, first as a volunteer, later as a part-time city employee. I've followed the controversy over the past months with morbid fascination. Anyone who knows Pat personally knows she had no interest in embezzlement or other forms of malfeasance. I don't doubt that there was a degree of sloppy record-keeping and poor financial accountability. (Sorry, Pat, but anybody who's seen your office would fully agree with this.)

A responsible resolution to this situation would have been for the City to recognize that the position of artistic director of the Theatre should be separate from the business director, as was most often the case with the theater groups who occupied the adjacent Community Theatre. In my opinion, the City itself is guilty of having let the two responsibilities commingle for so many years.

Be that as it may, it was an honor to work with Pat and the staff with whom she surrounded herself over the years. Pat's life was the Theatre, and the Theatre has always been Pat Briggs. Thousands and thousands of children and adults are better people for her efforts, myself included. Thank you, Pat.

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Posted by David Gomez
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 7, 2008 at 10:08 am

Let it be known that my first post was removed, but contained no foul language, no accusations that are not already made by city auditors. Let me state again, and perhaps I will be allowed to say "Good riddance!"

Like this comment
Posted by Curt Curtis (another member of the famed PACT Curtis family)
a resident of another community
on Aug 7, 2008 at 10:12 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff].

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Posted by John
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Aug 7, 2008 at 12:26 pm

As for Ms. Briggs selecting the new Assistant Director of the CT. I hope the City does a really good FBI background check on the chosen one!!

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