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Police transcripts shed new light on theater probe

Original post made on Jun 6, 2008

In an act of transparency, the Palo Alto Police Department Wednesday allowed the Weekly to view interview transcripts and other evidence collected during an 11-month investigation into financial irregularities at the Children's Theatre. Related material:
  • Benest may have initiated detectives' Texas trip

  • Theater investigation focused on 'skimming'

  • TIMELINE: Children's Theatre investigation

  • ARCHIVE: Children's Theatre investigation

    Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, June 6, 2008, 9:48 AM
  • Comments (11)

    Like this comment
    Posted by Parent
    a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
    on Jun 6, 2008 at 10:14 am

    Briggs said "We just sound totally stupid". One thing she got right, and there are many totally stupid people running this show and the City.

    Like this comment
    Posted by Truth hurts
    a resident of another community
    on Jun 6, 2008 at 1:56 pm


    Well said.

    Like this comment
    Posted by William
    a resident of Charleston Meadows
    on Jun 6, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    > But the case lacks hard evidence showing theater
    > officials intended to steal

    The police report is entitled: "Embezzlement" -- not "stealing".

    The definition of "embezzlement" is:

    to appropriate fraudulently to one's own use, as money or
    property entrusted to one's care.

    This is what the police investigated, and have documented quite well.

    It's a shame the Weekly has not taken the time to look up this word, "embezzlement", as the word "stealing" is not to be found in the police report.

    The definition of "stealing" is:

    given to or characterized by theft.

    While there is an overlap between these two words, they represent two different acts. The Weekly seems to be working very hard to misdirect the attention of the public away from the information in the police report.

    There is one final definition we need to look up for what's going on here--and that word is "whitewash""

    anything, as deceptive words or actions, used to cover up
    or gloss over faults, errors, or wrongdoings, or absolve a
    wrongdoer from blame.

    It's a real shame that the police were not able to complete their investigation into this matter--as there are still many avenues that need to be traveled and documented.

    Like this comment
    Posted by Senor blogger
    a resident of Palo Verde
    on Jun 6, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    What's so transparent about this?
    It's just the Weekly's (Jay's) opinion of Sgt Yore's opinion.
    (talk about the blind leading the dumb)
    We haven't heard from any of the "accused" yet.
    Senor Blogger

    Like this comment
    Posted by a concerned observer
    a resident of another community
    on Jun 6, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    First the Utilities Dept. scandal, then the PACT scandal. And so much of the top-level management is retiring/running off to new jobs. Which department is next on the scandal list?? Who else has not been doing due diligence?? Allowing bureaucracy to grow and fester propagates corruption like this. Is this the beginning/continuation of a pattern??? Open your eyes, Citizens of Palo Alto!! Time to face the actual truth, not the bubble you have spun around yourselves…

    Like this comment
    Posted by lazlo toth
    a resident of Old Palo Alto
    on Jun 6, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    How sad all of you only have time to write about city employees. Here we are in the heart of the Silicon Valley and y'all find time to write about employees who make about the same amount a year as a cheap BMW. If this is the only news in Palo Alto God help us! How pathetic! Go outside a take a deep breath of fresh air! Turn off your laptops! Enjoy life!

    Like this comment
    Posted by Howard
    a resident of Crescent Park
    on Jun 7, 2008 at 12:31 am

    Small time crooks got away with it under the guise of being "artistic" and "impractical." One idiot defends them by saying that they like to "hoard" things, equating their scheme of holding back the travellers checks with saving old programs and invitations.

    Like this comment
    Posted by William
    a resident of Charleston Meadows
    on Jun 7, 2008 at 8:00 am

    > y'all find time to write about employees who make
    > about the same amount a year as a cheap BMW.

    From another newspapers report on the key player's salaries:
    City salary records released in October show that Litfin received $21,350 in overtime pay during the 2006-07 fiscal year in addition to his annual salary of $81,915. Williams brought home an almost identical amount, $21,224, in overtime on top of her $76,750 salary.

    Litfin and Williams came in 62nd and 63rd, respectively, in the city's list of top overtime earners.

    Briggs, who made $103,993 last year, did not earn any overtime pay because she is a manager.

    These folks are not underpaid "public servants".

    Like this comment
    Posted by fireman
    a resident of another community
    on Jun 7, 2008 at 10:18 am

    Parent. Who would be the more STUPID? The people running this CITY, OR the people who do nothing to stop them. Also buying there weak excuses(not reasons)for how disfunctional this CITY has become. There has to be a reason all these ISSUES keep popping up.
    There is no excuse that can explain away all the issues of total ineptness that runs lose in this City and through out the COUNCIL.

    This City's leaders and Council have a long history of mismanageing public funds and abusing the power that the public has given them.
    Then the public attacks the messanger for the truth is just too much for many to accept?

    Like this comment
    Posted by anon.
    a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
    on Jun 8, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    If this was any other city, the City Auditory would also be fired. Remember the San Jose scandal? I think Morton should be kicked off City Council as well for trying to stop the investigation. Conflict of interest.

    Like this comment
    Posted by Mike
    a resident of College Terrace
    on Jun 8, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    Good grief! The comments here that attack someone who has not been found guilty of a crime are astoundingly crass. Who are these small-time zealots, anyway? Lazlo Toth is right. Go out and get some air, people!

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