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“Bail” for Sheriff stuck in dirty laundry limbo

By rgordon
Monday, June 18th, 2007 at 5:56 pm in Uncategorized.

So, you wonder, what ever became of that $1,000 check that San Mateo resident David Katz wrote as a down payment to help rescue the county’s top cop from his Las Vegas troubles?

Ah, there’s nothing like a good family squabble to make a story really interesting.

Katz’s $1,000 check didn’t make it far after he dropped it off on June 1. In fact, it has merely sat, undeposited, in the office of the County Counsel.

“We received a letter from a lawyer who I think is representing family interests raising a question of whether the check might be inappropriate given the source those funds,” County Counsel Tom Casey said. “That’s not a county issue, that’s a family issue.”

Earlier this month, we blogged that Katz had decided to help San Mateo County Sheriff Greg Munks save some face after he and Undersheriff Carlos Bolanos were swept up during a sting at a Las Vegas brothel in April. The two were in town for the annual Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay. Katz offered to reimburse 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.

Katz told the Insider on June 1 that his share of a $2.6 million inheritance from his recently deceased father, Burlingame resident Herman Katz, would help foot the bill. Half would be his sister’s, Katz said, and he planned to spend a good portion of his $1.3 million on public safety.

What the Insider has since learned is that Katz, 52, said he has been estranged from his sister for 41 years. That is, of course, until news of his monetary deed for the Sheriff broke.

“My sister and I look like Hamas and Fatah over in the Gaza right now,” Katz said.

We’ll spare you the gory details, but note that the letter Casey’s office received was likely from San Mateo attorney Russell Stanaland, who represents the Herman R. & Dorothy M. Katz Trust.

Regardless, Katz said that any argument that his family may try to make about the misuse of the inheritance is moot, because he is now claiming he used all of his own money to cover the down payment.

“I used all my money from tutoring income,” Katz said. “Every dollar in that thousand, I earned.”

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. He said he’ll continue to pay the $9,745 in weekly installments of $175 from his tutoring income if he has to.

If the squabble can be settled, the money will go in to the county’s General Fund, Casey said. Approval by the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors to accept the gift would only be required if it exceeds $2,500. If it can’t be settled, the money will likely be returned.

“We’re not going to hold onto it indefinitely,” Casey said.

When asked if he knew when or how the disagreement would be settled, Katz said he’s been kept entirely in the dark. He was also apt to note – rather vehemently, actually – that he’d heard nary a peep from county officials since he dropped off his donation.

“I’m the one who’s being treated like a mushroom, but I’m the guy with the checkbook,” Katz said. “Would someone call me please and invite me for coffee when I write a $1,000 check?”

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3 Responses to ““Bail” for Sheriff stuck in dirty laundry limbo”

  1. Van Says:

    Why arent Sherriff Munks and Undersherrif Bolanos fired for mis-use of funds, and arrested for solicitation? If this were any of us ordinary peasants, we’d been in jail with that arrest permanently on our record, convictions surely on the way, fines to pay, jail time to spend, our cars “confiscated”, and our names and faces published by the cops in the local newspaper to humiliate us.

    Yet these guys just have to pay back what they STOLE FROM THE TAXPAYERS, and all is forgiven?!

  2. peg collier Says:

    The undersheriff is an employee of the county. He is subject to firing. Howeverm, the Sheriff is an elected official. An elected official cannot be fired. He would have to be recalled by the voters who elected him.

  3. Geoff Givens Says:

    Van – did you read the article? It states in plain English that the two were “swept” up in a sting in Vegas. Do you think if Vegas Metro let them go it would have made he news? I’m fairly certain this would have been swept under the carpet, just like you would have done, if they had been let go. The bottom line is that prostitution, under most circumstances, is LEGAL in Nevada! As far as stealing from the taxpayers, the article clearly states, again, that they were in Vegas for an approved event. Just becasue they had an indiscretion while there doesn’t mean they were fleecing the taxpayers. If they had used the taxpayers money to gain entry, that would be a different story. They were there on legitimate business. Its not like they took a car, drove to Vegas for the sole purpose of visiting a brothel! Come on people, use your noodle!

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