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Former superintendent pleads no contest to embezzlement, other felony charges

Original post made on Aug 1, 2012

Looking drawn and contrite, former Portola Valley schools superintendent Tim Hanretty appeared in court Tuesday morning to plead no contest to six felony charges, including embezzlement of $101,000 from the Portola Valley district.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, August 1, 2012, 8:08 AM

Comments (11)

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Posted by Cid Young
a resident of another community
on Aug 1, 2012 at 11:01 am

There needs to be SO MUCH MORE oversight from the School Boards in the area. I don't believe that the so-called "Citizen's Oversight Committee" in Half moon Bay does any more than an After-the-fact review of the money that was spent.
Our community was just Saddled with a new $81,000,000 25-40 year bond.
(Measure S) We still are being assessed for Measure E and no doubt loing before we pay down the Measure S bond, they will think up new ways to spend OPM (Other People's Money) And put another Measure on the Ballot to extract money from the Property Owners in the Cabrillo Unified School District.

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Posted by local
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 1, 2012 at 1:18 pm

I agree - we are in the middle of trying to improve our schools with enormous bonds resulting from painful tax level -- hundreds of millions at issue -- what are we doing to ensure such malfeasance couldn't happen here, or that even worse, things like kickbacks to make decisions favorable to contractors, various vendors, and construction professionals aren't happening here? I don't think the board CAN offer the appropriate oversight, and the citizens committee is kind of a joke.

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Posted by scot
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Aug 1, 2012 at 1:20 pm

wanna bet we STILL get to pay for his retirement?

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Posted by David Pepperdine
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 1, 2012 at 2:08 pm

There outghta be a law (where are you Joe Simitian?), that ANY public servant, from the president on down, who commits financial fraud relating to his/her job is denied all retirement benefits from all public service jobs forever.

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Posted by Crime-Does-Pay
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 1, 2012 at 6:20 pm

> There outghta be a law ..

The Courts have generally ruled with the felons on this one. A number of cases where pensions were denied people who committed crimes as public sector employees have result in rulings that the pension was a benefit associated with employment, and can be be denied because of actions of the employee.

Probably a US Constitutional amendment would need to be passed that would open the door to breaking contracts (pensions) for reasons that involved criminal acts on the part of the employees.

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Posted by Observer
a resident of South of Midtown
on Aug 1, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Wait, he's going to jail, right?

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Posted by Crime-Does-Pay
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 1, 2012 at 8:14 pm

From the MerkyNews--

San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Mark Forcum said he would consider probation if Hanretty reimburses the school districts, which he described as "the victims." Hanretty will be sentenced Oct. 11.

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Posted by 6 strikes
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 1, 2012 at 8:47 pm

6 felonies + high priced lawyer + "white privilege" = slap on the wrist

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Posted by Dean
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 2, 2012 at 9:29 am

Again, in the interests of full disclkosure, I'm a former Mid-Town resident from the 60s.

I imagine your state prisons (a drain on your hemorrhaging state finances)would only make this guy worse.

IMHO, most white collar criminals need a short leash out of prison with severe financial penalties.

How about this?

1.Pay back the $101K with interest from the date of embezzlement (@ the going rate for PV School District bonds)

2. Yes, forfeit all state retirement with his share of accrued benefits credited to the lowest 10% of current retirement recipients in the district.

3. Require say 3 years of consulting work to districts in the Bay Area teaching staff how to spot such shenanigans early on---a sort of "Catch Me if You Can" scanario in the public sector.

4. State audits for 3 years of his tax-returns assuring he's not doing anything else low life.

5. Finally, several 100 hours of community service in hard physical labor---the sort he has probably never experienced coming from a priviledged background I'd guess.

That's a "everyone wins"---he loses sort of punishment.

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Posted by you're kidding
a resident of Portola Valley
on Aug 2, 2012 at 12:29 pm

The really scary part is he's been doing this for over a decade at both schools. He's been described by ALL who knew him as so charming and that "he would never do this" until it was proven, these characteristics describe a sociopath. As the definition says: "lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience." It's hard for anyone that does have a conscience to believe that others don't, but they really don't. Hanretty was in both districts for years and years. he was well integrated into the communities. The fact that his actions have not only impacted both these wealthy towns that will buy most of their way out of this, but he has devastated aides, teachers and other real people who will/have lost incomes as a result as will have to find jobs in an economy that is less than hospitable. He's known these folks intimately for years and that doesn't bother him at all. That's a sociopath. If he's not convicted of anything, there will be nothing to be reported in his record and he'll be able to do this again somewhere. Dean, I really like your idea of restitution. Just like the government gets hackers to help them learn how to plug the loopholes and in fact find other hackers. That would be a great use of his time. However, he's going to sell his beautiful home (which a realtor told me has doubled in value) and move on down the road to another unsuspecting wealthy school district. I never even thought of how we'll have to pay his retirement---now THAT sucks!

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Posted by Jake
a resident of another community
on Aug 2, 2012 at 5:49 pm

He should do at least 5 years in state prison! White collar crime pays and most of the time there is a slap on the wrist. So what if he pays back the money. I could not rob a bank and if caught get a lighter sentance or no jail time simply because I pay back money after being caught.
How much money did it cost to investigate the crime, file charges, court costs etc etc. His crime cost tax payers much more than the 100K he took.
He stole money that was for educating children, giving him a break will only send the messege to other potential white collar crooks that the gain is worth the risk if you get caught.
Let him teach other inmates at state prison for 5 plus years.

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