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School official accused of embezzlement pleads

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POSTED August 1, 2012 9:19 p.m.

WOODSIDE  (AP) — A former school superintendent in San Mateo County accused of billing one school district for work done on his home and misappropriating funds from another district has reached a plea deal.

The Palo Alto Daily News reports that Timothy Hanretty pleaded no contest on Tuesday to multiple counts of misappropriating funds in exchange for a prison sentence of no more than four years. He originally faced embezzlement charges as well. Those charges stemmed from allegations that he billed the Portola Valley School District about $101,000 for renovation work at his home while serving as the district's superintendent.

Prosecutors also say Hanretty misappropriated funds from Woodside Elementary School District, taking out $2 million in additional loans for school projects although that money had not been approved by the school board.

Mexico man pleads guilty

 in toy-drug money scheme

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Mexican businessman has pleaded guilty to conspiring with the owners of a Southern California toy wholesaler to launder money for international drug cartels.

Luis Ernesto Flores Rivera entered his plea Wednesday to a conspiracy charge in Los Angeles. He faces up to 20 years in prison when he's scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 15.

Flores was one of eight indicted, including Woody Toys in Industry, Calif., for using cash deposits in the U.S. to funnel illicit proceeds from drug traffickers in Mexico and Colombia. Authorities believe about $6 million was channeled to the toy company between 2005 and 2011.

Fresno cops: Coach who

 killed 7-year-old was drunk

FRESNO. (AP) — Fresno police say a high school basketball coach who drove into a family and killed a 7-year-old boy was legally drunk at the time of the crash.

Police said Monday that 42-year-old Loren LeBeau had a 0.11 blood-alcohol level during last week's crash. That's above the state's 0.08 limit.

The crash on Wednesday fatally injured 7-year-old Donovan Maldonado. Police say the boy and his father were on bicycles and were about three-quarters of the way through a crosswalk when LeBeau hit them.

The father, Jesse Maldonado, was in fair condition at Community Regional Medical Center and would need to undergo surgery. The boy's 18-month-old sister Bella, who was also hit, remained in critical, but stable condition.

LeBeau — a Central High School boys' basketball coach — is facing charges including felony hit and run.

Marijuana worth $5M

found in grow houses

HACIENDA HEIGHTS  (AP) — An estimated $5 million crop of marijuana has been found in two Southern California grow houses where investigators say $100,000 in stolen electricity was used to raise the pot.

Los Angeles County sheriff's investigators say 42-year-old Zhichi Xu was arrested at his San Gabriel home after discovery of the two Hacienda Heights grow houses on Tuesday.

Elaborate marijuana grow systems were discovered and more than 1,400 marijuana plants have been recovered.

Southern California Edison estimates the grow houses used an estimated $125,000 worth of stolen electricity.


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