Tim Hanretty, the former superintendent of the Portola Valley School District, has been arrested and charged with felony embezzlement of public funds from the district, acting superintendent Carol Piraino announced late Friday night.
District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said Mr. Hanretty, who was arrested Friday night on a $60,000 arrest warrant, has posted a bail bond and been released. He is due to appear in court at 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 19, in Redwood City.
The new charges -- in addition to misappropriation charges he faces in connection with work he did in the Woodside Elementary School District -- are six counts of felony embezzlement of public funds and one count of general felony embezzlement, Mr. Wagstaffe said.
Mr. Hanretty's attorney, Michael Markowitz, said in an email: "We have no comment at this time."
Only Mr. Hanretty is charged with these offenses, Mr. Wagstaffe said. "We believe that the contractor on defendant Hanretty's home committed no crime," he said.
The embezzlement from the Portola Valley district allegedly began in December 2010 just after Mr. Hanretty became superintendent and chief business officer of the district, Ms. Piraino said.
Earlier this year the district hired an outside accounting firm to conduct "an in-depth forensic audit following Mr. Hanretty's arrest for misappropriation of public funds and other crimes that allegedly occurred during his tenure as the Chief Business Official at the Woodside Elementary School District," she said in the statement.
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, she said. 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.
"It appears that Mr. Hanretty created the six dummy invoices ... to use District funds to pay for work performed on his home remodel project," she said.
The forensic auditors will make a public presentation of their findings at the June 20 school board meeting.
The forensic audit report (PDF) identifies the contractor as Ron Perez Construction. In an executive summary, the report makes these points about the district's solar project:
■ "Allegedly, Ron Perez Construction was paid $100,926 from the escrowed funds for work performed on Mr. Hanretty's personal residence rather than on the District's Solar Project."
■ "Although some of the expenses paid from the escrowed funds appear to be for the benefit of Mr. Hanretty, the other expenses appear to be for the benefit of the District."
■ "Approximately $415,000 of the escrowed funds was used for non-qualified purposes."
■ "The use of the escrowed funds for non-qualified purposes could jeopardize the $1.509 million federal subsidy amount the district is entitled to receive as part of the Solar Project."
In April, Woodside school officials said they believed misappropriated funds in that district were spent on district projects, not for Mr. Hanretty's personal gain. Earlier story: Former superintendent pleads not guilty to felony charges (April 6, 2010).
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