By Barbara Wood
Special to the Almanac
Tim Hanretty, former Portola Valley School District superintendent and Woodside Elementary School District finance officer, was handcuffed and taken into custody directly from a Redwood City courtroom after being sentenced to two years in state prison this morning (Oct. 22) by Judge Mark Forcum.
Looking on from the courtroom were officials from both districts, appearing somber, and in some cases close to tears at the resolution to the case.
Still to be determined is exactly how much restitution Mr. Hanretty will be required to pay to the Woodside district.
Judge Forcum ordered Mr. Hanretty to pay the full amount of restitution that the Portola Valley district has requested -- more than $180,000, including the nearly $101,000 he admitted embezzling from the district, plus its attorney, auditor and staff overtime costs.
Woodside has asked to be reimbursed $67,783 in attorney fees, $35,173 for an accountant, $1,556,446 in loan interest and $1,968,000 in loan principal.
A hearing will be held on Nov. 15 to determine the restitution to be paid to Woodside.
Mr. Hanretty appeared grim during the hearing, but addressed the court calmly. "I stand before you today with extreme remorse for my acts of wrongdoing," he said, reading from a prepared statement. "I profusely apologize to everyone who has been harmed by my actions."
On July 31, Mr. Hanretty plead "no contest" to charges of felony misappropriation of public funds in Woodside and Portola Valley.
In Woodside, he was accused of forging documents that allowed a loan of up to $3 million to be made to the district, despite the fact that the school board had approved borrowing only $632,000. He eventually obtained a loan of $2.6 million, which district officials say was spent on school projects.
In Portola Valley, an investigation found that Mr. Hanretty had charged $100,926 for work on his own home, drawing the money from the district's solar panel fund.
"I am not a quitter. I never have been," Mr. Hanretty told the court before the sentencing, saying he planned to use his plumbing, electrical and other skills to start a home improvement business to earn money to pay back the districts.
The Almanac will provide more information as it becomes available. A complete story will appear in the Almanac's print edition.