Hanretty expresses 'extreme remorse' for stealing from schools; heads to state prison Around Town, posted by Editor, The Almanac Online, on Oct 23, 2012 at 1:56 pm
(This is an expanded version of a previously posted article.) Tim Hanretty, former Portola Valley School District Superintendent and Woodside Elementary School District finance officer, was handcuffed and taken into custody directly from the Redwood City Superior Court courtroom after being sentenced to two years in state prison on Monday, Oct. 22, for embezzlement and other crimes.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, October 23, 2012, 8:59 AM
Posted by Resident, a resident of the Portola Valley: other neighborhood, on Oct 23, 2012 at 1:56 pm
"A gay man...has a very difficult time being forthright..." says his attorney.
Not "A" gay man: THIS gay man.
Being gay does not in itself lead to crime, and being gay is not an excuse for committing crimes.
Mr. Hanretty's personal life experiences may have created a weakness of character that allowed him to fleece two school districts, but that does not pre-destin his ensuing actions. His attorney, Mr. Markowitz, should feel quite a bit of shame for trying to shift the blame from an individual's chosen actions to their innate sexual orientation. Mr. Markowitz is implying that our society's prejudices cause individuals to commit crimes, even as his words underline and worsen those prejudices. Shame on both men.
Posted by Former PV resident, a resident of another community, on Oct 23, 2012 at 5:59 pm
Having worked with Tim Hanretty in a volunteer capacity some years ago, I find his embezzlement charges quite distressing. I respected and trusted Mr. Hanretty, though this was before he was both PVSD financial manager and superintendent. The damage his actions have caused two very fine school districts is horrible.
But for Mr. Markowitz to make Mr. Hanretty's sexual orientation a scapegoat for his illegal actions is awful. Though no one discussed it, which is appropriate, I don't think that anyone who worked with and knew Mr. Hanretty would have been surprised to know that he was gay and that was just fine as it was his personal life. Crime is crime, pure and simple, regardless of sexual orientation.
Posted by Psychological Influences, a member of the Corte Madera School community, on Oct 23, 2012 at 9:19 pm
Mr. Markowitz makes an interesting comment about a cause for Mr. Hanretty's aversion to transparency and honesty: growing up and living in a context in which honesty and transparency are dangerous might have consequences that affect one's professional performance and judgement.
Are adult children of alcoholics reliable leaders? Are GLBTQ people who have grown up in non-accepting environments permanently skewed by this experience?
Do we really want to go there in thinking about people in personal and professional contexts?
Posted by Sarah, a resident of the Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley neighborhood, on Oct 24, 2012 at 11:08 am
As a PV resident and parent with 3 kids in the school district I am deeply saddened and angered by the actions of Mr. Hanretty. However I am also angered by both the comments of Mr. Markowitz and decision by the Almanac to print the comments of Mr. Markowitz regarding Mr. Hanretty's sexual orientation. It is COMPLETELY irrelevant to this situation. Shame on you Almanac for printing something so offensive.
Posted by Complete Bull, a resident of the Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley neighborhood, on Oct 24, 2012 at 4:31 pm
This is such a complete bull crap comment. Everyone knew Tim was gay in the same way that everyone knows I am straight---I have a spouse and he has a spouse. His happens to be male. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with his ethical failings and criminal activity, and I am quite sure that that thought has never crossed anyone's mind. He's a thief and a liar, and he stole from schoolchildren. I don't give a flying f$&@ who he sleeps with, and neither does anyone else.
Posted by Interested party, a resident of another community, on Oct 24, 2012 at 8:18 pm
Mr. Markowitz obviously did not have a valid leg to stand on, so he was grabbing at straws. Tim did what he did and there is no acceptable excuse, or defense. Everyone needs to learn from this. Financial controls, checks and balances, internal controls , and separation of duties are so important. The sad part is that it is the children that are the real victims in this case. The #1 priority for all school employees must be the children.
Posted by member, a member of the Woodside School community, on Oct 28, 2012 at 2:47 pm
While the parent community was volunteering in the classrooms, fundraising so that teachers could be paid, donating classroom equipment, underwriting the schools until it hurt, this guy was helping himself to what he wanted. What in the world could he have been thinking? Has our society really sunk so low? Kudos to the board member who raised the alarm. Where was the financial oversight while all this was going on?