Hard knocks: District official accused of school swindle 

A former chief financial officer for the Woodside Elementary School District is facing criminal charges for mishandling district funds, prosecutors said.

On Thursday, the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office charged Timothy Hanretty with three felony counts, including misappropriation of public funds and forgery.

An internal audit at the district uncovered financial “irregularities” in Hanretty’s handling of facility improvement funds, authorities said. Prosecutors began investigating in early December.

As CFO, Hanretty allegedly fraudulently obtained a loan of $2.6 million to renovate school fields, county counsel John Beiers said Thursday. The Woodside district approved a loan of only $632,000 for the project, Beiers said.

The district said it believes the rest of the loan money was spent on other school modernization projects that took place between 2005 to 2008.

Hanretty was a longtime employee with both the Woodside and Portola Valley school districts. He joined the Portola Valley district as CFO in 2010 and later became superintendent. He resigned Jan. 31 in light of the Woodside probe.

Hanretty, who is out of custody, is scheduled to be arraigned this morning.

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