Tim Hanretty pleads not guilty of embezzling funds from Portola Valley School District Schools & Kids, posted by Editor, The Almanac Online, on Jun 19, 2012 at 1:17 pm
Tim Hanretty pleaded not guilty this morning (June 19) to six counts of embezzlement from the Portola Valley School District, charges involving the alleged stealing of nearly $101,000 to pay for a construction project at his Woodside home during his tenure as superintendent of the district.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, June 19, 2012, 11:55 AM
Posted by Bureaucracy in Action, a member of the Corte Madera School community, on Jun 20, 2012 at 9:02 am
Viewing this case as some isolated tragedy will only lead to similar events in the future and leave the further mistakes currently underway unexposed.
When those who hold power operate without transparency, behind closed doors, as Tim did habitually, the results will never be for the greater good.
The school board must be held accountable not just for Tim's criminality, but for their pattern of operation that led to this situation and ultimately harms the schools in a myriad of ways. The open board meetings are really nothing more than a formality, voting on what has already been decided in private- based on the the will of a small group with undue influence.
Another example of the Board's current methodology is evaluating the acting Superintendant (Carol Piraino) based on her own collected data! She directs the administration and content of the staff and community surveys, she decides on how and what educational data is collected and presented to the Board. In her eyes, she must be a fabulous success; a point of view that she will surely communicate to the Board.
Local, national and world politics are screaming for more democracy and transparency from US banking to the "Fast and the Furious" to Egypt's military rulers to Portola Valley, as those who benefit from the lack of power-sharing work every angle to hold onto their power.
Why not start from scratch, have some Board elections rather than appointments for a change, and institute a method of public dialogue about school issues?
Posted by Matt R., a resident of the Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda neighborhood, on Jun 20, 2012 at 10:36 am Matt R. is a member (registered user) of Almanac Online
I don't think anyone views the Hanratty affair as an isolated item. It's more the tip of a very large iceberg. It's also one of the two most glaring examples of the consiquences for how things have been administered and supervised. (The other being the huge budget cuts required to eliminate the structural deficit and pay for past poor financial decisions.)
I think most who are paying close attention realize that this couldn't have happened without a perfect storm of very bad things. And there are many who are looking to put in structural reform to either minimize or eliminate the possibility of repition.
Posted by Wondering, a resident of the Portola Valley: other neighborhood, on Jun 21, 2012 at 2:41 pm
Per the quote below from the article, did the contractor cash checks from the bank that had the school disrict's name on the check? If so, there should be furter discussion with the contractor. If Mr. Hanretty recieved funds from the bank, deposited them into his account and then paid the contractor we have a very obvious problem. Does anyone know the details of the transaction(s)?
Ms. Piraino said the audit revealed that Mr. Hanretty submitted six invoices totaling $100,926 for reimbursement from the district's solar panel escrow account at Deutsche Bank.
The invoices describe work allegedly done at the district, but "the contractor never actually performed any work for the District. Rather, he performed work on Mr. Hanretty's personal home remodel project. The amounts on the contractor's invoices to Mr. Hanretty exactly mirror the amounts that Mr. Hanretty submitted to Deutsche Bank for reimbursement out of the District's funds," she said in the statement.