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Today’s must-read: AJ on police embezzlement case

Submitted by on 1, September 20, 2010 – 4:40 am3 Comments

Alameda police are seeking criminal charges against a former part-time parking tech who, they said, falsified his time sheets to collect more than $16,000 in unearned pay, the Alameda Journal’s Peter Hegarty reported Friday.

Police believe the 26-year-old former employee, who they have not yet named, began falsifying his time sheets when he was hired by the department in January 2007. Police discovered the discrepancies on September 2 and fired the man six days later, Hegarty reported.

The department is asking the district attorney to charge the man with embezzlement, and they are seeking restitution for what they said was unearned pay, Hegarty reported. And he said the department is taking steps to prevent a similar incident from happening again.


  • As I noted Friday on my campaign blog and elsewhere, I find this case troubling for several reasons:

    1.) Even though this employee was fired on Sept. 8, we, the residents of Alameda, learn of this from APD mid-afternoon on a Friday 9 days later! Interesting timing guys … Hmm …
    2.) While APD can name, down to the dollar, the amount this young man embezzled from the city, it can’t seem to find a pair of handcuffs that fit him. Why haven’t they arrested him yet? Hmm …
    3.) While I’m glad Acting Chief Noonan is conducting a thorough investigation, I’m wondering why this department continues to have issues with its employees committing time sheet fraud? A similar case occurred with city jailers in 1997. Shouldn’t we expect more out of those we charge with enforcing the law. Hmm …

    I think the case brings up the bigger question of whether there’s really anyone in charge at City Hall. It was just a couple weeks ago the city placed Fire Chief Dave Kapler on paid administrative leave for gassing up his private vehicle on the city’s dime.
    At the the end of the day we as residents should demand accountability and it starts right at the top. I’m wondering where Mayor Bev Johnson is on this? Or how about Interim City Manager Anne Marie Gallant?
    At the end of the day, however, our attention shouldn’t be drawn too much to the acts of some 26-year-old embezzling $16,000 from the city or about a Fire Chief arrogantly fueling his private car at the city’s expense. While bad, these acts are merely symptoms of a larger problem.
    No, our attention needs to be focused keenly on what our city leaders are doing, or, what they’re not doing. What I’ve seen to date has been disappointing.
    I think Alameda needs bold new political leadership now more than ever — leadership that’s not afraid of making decisions out in the open, in the sunshine and with the public’s full participation.

  • Linda Hanson says:

    How about a full time Mayor and Council members? Or at least pay them enough to work on something more than a ‘volunteer’ basis. Serving in city government should be a real job – not a hobby.


  • Jon Spangler says:

    Not a bad idea, Linda. If we paid five Council members $10,000 – $15,000/year plus health care benefits we would only be spending $100,000 $200,000 annually and could
    expect a bit more from our elected officials. Even a decent part-time salary like this would probably help give our elected officials an incentive to pay a bit more attention…

    Of course, we are paying the Interim City Manager $200,000 annually to pay attention, and that amount does not seem to be working… :-)

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