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Orange County Digest

Orange : Inquiry Into Missing Equipment Continuing

October 22, 1985|Andy Rose

A year-old investigation into allegations of missing equipment owned by the Orange Unified School District "is still continuing" and no deadline has been set for completion, Supt. Kenneth Brummel said Monday.

Brummel said information on the status on the investigation was contained in a letter from Orange County Deputy Dist. Atty. Maurice Evans in answer to a request made by the board on Oct. 3.

"This will at least allow the public to know that we in no way are trying to hold up the investigation," school board President Eleanore Pleines said. She said the board wanted to make the public aware of investigation results if they were available before the Nov. 3. election. Pleines is not running for reelection.

Brummel noted that there were "rumors" in the community that the school board had been delaying the investigation and that some people had stated as much at board meetings. "We've turned all our information over to the police," he said, adding that he feels there has been "no attempt whatsoever" to interfere with work by the police or Evans.

Police began a joint investigation last November with district attorney and state controller's officials after the district conducted its own probe into allegations of missing or misappropriated district property.

Sgt. Trey Sirks, who heads the Police Department's fraud unit, said he could not provide an exact date for completion. "There is a tremendous amount of information to go through in a very involved, highly technical case," he said. "It's going to be some time before the investigation is complete." Sirks added that one detective has covered the case full time since its inception.

Pleines said the case began when employees reported problems in accounting for all the equipment. Two employees who were put on paid administrative leave have since left the district: director of management coordination Steven Presson, who resigned, and garage service coordinator Richard Lampe, who retired.

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