News - May 5, 2010

Children's center supervisor retires following arrest

The supervisor of the Belle Haven Child Development Center in Menlo Park, who was arrested on April 13 for allegedly harassing and giving unwanted gifts to a 13-year-old girl, has retired from his position, according to a city official.

Jose Adalberto Lopez, 55, of San Mateo, has been on paid administrative leave from his post since his arrest, according to Glen Kramer, the city's personnel director. Mr. Lopez will remain on paid leave until his retirement becomes effective on May 14, Mr. Kramer said.

Police were called to the child development center on Ivy Drive on April 13 after receiving information from city staff, according to Nicole Acker, spokeswoman for the Menlo Park Police Department. He was booked into San Mateo County jail that night, Ms. Acker said.

The police department completed its investigation and submitted it to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office last week, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. His office will review the case and determine whether charges should be filed, he said.

Mr. Lopez's arraignment is set for 9 a.m. May 18, Mr. Wagstaffe said.

Natalie Bonham, a teacher at the child development center for seven years, has been named acting supervisor of the center until sometime in June, when the center holds a graduation for the older children, Mr. Kramer said. "We're working on longer-term solution" to put in place after that event, he said.

Mr. Lopez began working with the city as a teacher in 2001, and was promoted in 2006 to be the center's supervisor, according to Mr. Kramer.


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