Part of the Bay Area News Group

If I had a million dollars, I’d spend it on the Sheriff

By rgordon
Friday, June 1st, 2007 at 7:33 pm in Uncategorized.

What does one do with a $2.6 million inheritance?

Why, shower the beleaguered county sheriff with love, of course.

San Mateo resident David Katz has become the self-appointed white knight to rescue San Mateo County Sheriff Greg Munks and Undersheriff Carlos Bolanos from the hot water they’ve found themselves in after being swept up in a sting – called Operation Dollhouse – at nine Las Vegas brothels in April. The two were in town for the weekend for the annual Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay, which draws thousands of law enforcement officials from all over.

David Katz
As such, Katz, 52, decided to pay the county the $9,745 in taxpayers’ dollars the Sheriff’s Office spent on attending the race, primarily through the use of 11 county vehicles. To let the world know he wasn’t joking, Katz dropped a $1,000 down payment off at the Sheriff’s Office this afternoon. He dressed the part – or something – donning a bright blue shirt and plenty of flair.

Katz explained to the Insider that his father, Burlingame resident Herman Katz, died in early April, leaving Katz and his sister $2.6 million. Katz said that he is committed to spending a significant portion of his $1.3 million share on public safety.

A math tutor by trade, Katz is the program director of the Young Einsteins Club of San Mateo, which matches math-minded high school students with younger folk for tutoring. The club, he says, is also contributing.

In an email to county officials shared with the Insider, Katz long-windedly explained the reasons behind his altruism. We pick up after Katz recounted his version of the Vegas adventure:

“Well, our good friends in the media got ahold of the story, and, presto, there is our Sheriff on the front page and the story doesn’t read so well for him and for the citizens of San Mateo County. But… the good news is… the U.S. Constitution and the California State and Nevada State constitutions guarantee all of his rights in times like these and our Sheriff, is, of course, innocent until proven guilty,” Katz wrote. “Since the folks in Las Vegas said, ‘Hello, Goodbye, don’t come back anytime soon,’ our Sheriff is innocent because he is innocent. Period. End of story…”

Katz then explained that the happy ending has been wrinkled by Michael Stogner, a San Carlos resident who plans to file an intent to recall Munks if he does not respond to a slew of questions that Stogner sent him last month (see related post). A recall will just incite “nastiness,” Katz wrote.

“The main nastiness is that it can divide our community at a time when we have so many other important things to work on… such as our 2,000 homeless people in the county who might just like a bed, a shower and a hot meal,” Katz continued. “For Mr. Stogner, we wish that he would set aside just 15 minutes to read the U.S. Constitution because, right now, we feel, that the Sheriff is having his constitutional rights violated by any upcoming and/or pending recall action. Hey you guys, we are all innocent until proven guilty – it’s one of those small things that makes America great.”

So, Katz says, the least he can do is cover the tab.

“Then, the money side of all this will no longer be a concern to the Sheriff and the Board of Supervisors,” he wrote.

Apparently, covering taxpayers’ portion of the trip – if it can even be done, as the supervisors and County Counsel have yet to weigh in on its legality – won’t be Katz’s final stop on the philanthropy train, either.

“Everybody in law enforcement gets a patrol car,” Katz told us, noting that he intends to spend $96,000 in the next 18 months for patrol cars for the Sheriff’s Office in Woodside – “to go catch the bicyclists that travel in a pack and not single file” – and on the coast.

Rumors of Katz’s generosity have swirled for a couple of days now, prompting Stogner and others to call on the supervisors to donate the money to charity.

“If the Katz family does deliver this check to the Sheriff I am asking San Mateo County to give the full amount to the Salvation Army of Las Vegas, who is the organization that has been caring for the 25 victims who were arrested in Operation Dollhouse,” Stogner wrote to Supervisor Rich Gordon.

No word on what the county may do. But we promise to keep you posted.

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

Leave a Reply