A Superior Court judge has handed down a sentence for a former school official accused of committing fraudulent loan practices while employed by the Woodside Elementary School District, and embezzling more than $100,000 while employed by the Portola Valley School District.
Timothy Hanretty, 55, of Woodside, was sentenced to two years in prison by the San Mateo County Superior Court on Monday for financial misconduct, according to a report by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Hanretty was charged with falsifying loan documents while employed as a chief business official for the Woodside school district. Though the school district board had only agreed to apply for a loan of $632,000 for improvements to school facilities, Hanretty applied for a $2.6-million loan and used the extra $2 million for other school improvement projects.
The school was so pleased with the work that was done on the school, that the board awarded Hanretty a $5,000 bonus when all was said and done - not knowing at the time that the school was deeply in debt, thanks to Hanretty's misconduct.
It was not until some time later that his deeds were discovered, when a financial audit revealed the school district was millions more in debt than it should have been - to the tune of Hanretty's extra $2 million in loans, plus $1.5 million in interest payments due on the loan.
By that time, Hanretty had left the Woodside district to accept a job as the superintendent of the Portola Valley School District.
While employed there, Hanretty was found guilty of embezzling more than $100,000 for improvements to his Woodside home.
Though Hanretty originally pleaded not guilty to the charges, he later changed his mind and accepted a plea deal.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that "Hanretty told the court that he was sorry for what he did and that he was aware he had betrayed the public's trust," according to San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.
Though Hanretty has reportedly already paid $120,000 in restitution to the Portola Valley district, he is contesting the $3.6 million the Woodside Elementary School District is suing him for in restitution, which includes the fraudulently-obtained $2-million loan, the $1.5 million in interest the district has been charged on the loan, plus attorney fees and money paid to a forensic accountant to uncover all of Hanretty's financial misconduct.
Hanretty has reportedly said he doesn't feel he should have to pay $3.6 million, since the school district benefitted from the work the loan paid for.
Wagstaffe said a restitution hearing will be held at a later date.
Ironically, Hanretty told The San Francisco Chronicle he plans to find work doing home repair and construction after his incarceration is over.
Patch will continue to update this story.
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