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Former Portola Valley School District Superintendent Takes Plea Deal

Timothy Hanretty previously denied sloughing more than $100,000 from the district to remodel his home.

The former superintendent of the is facing up to four years in prison today, after accepting the terms of a plea deal with San Mateo County prosecutors.

District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said embezzled more than $100,000 from the school district and used the money to remodel his home. The school district had created a special fund to pay for installing solar panels on the schools, which Hanretty allegedly exploited.

Prosecutors say Hanretty submitted invoices for work that was never completed, and charged him with six counts of embezzlement of public funds — one for each invoice.

“We wondered if he was going to fight it,” Wagstaffe said, after alluding to Hanretty's dubiuos financial history.

“Once we investigated and were able to prosecute for the Portola Valley case too, he had no choice but to close it out,” he added.

According to public records, this is Hanretty’s second instance of money malfeasance.

In April, he was charged with misappropriating more than $2 million in public funds from the while working as the district’s chief business officer.  The school board had tasked him with getting a loan for about $600,000 to improve the athletic fields.  Instead, he is purported to have obtained one for $2.6 million without approval from the board, pocketing a bonus check of $5,000 for doing so rapidly in the process.

“The school has to pay back those loans,” Wagstaffe said. 

Hanretty resigned from the in January. Within the terms of the plea deal, he would do no more than four years in prison if he pays back the money to the Portola Valley School District. The actual punishment is fluid, depending on what he is willing to do for the districts.

"If he makes a major restitution the courts could consider less," Wagstaffe said.

Hanretty will appear before a judge for a restitution hearing on October 11. His attorney has declined to speak about the case.

 

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