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High School Teacher Accused of Campus Bookmaking

January 11, 1989|MICHAEL CONNELLY | Times Staff Writer

An English teacher accused of taking bets on sporting events from teachers and students at a Sun Valley high school has been arrested on suspicion of bookmaking, Los Angeles police said Tuesday.

Charles Hammond, 54, of Van Nuys, was arrested Friday at John H. Francis Polytechnic High School, where vice officers found bookmaking records in his possession, Capt. Rick Dinse said.

When police later searched Hammond's home, they found a large amount of paper work in which Hammond apparently recorded bets from students and teachers, Dinse said. Police also found cocaine paraphernalia and a small amount of marijuana in the home, he said.

Hammond was released from the North Hollywood jail on $500 bail after his arrest.

Los Angeles Unified School District officials said Hammond has been transferred to a non-teaching position, but made no other comment. Hammond could not be reached for comment.

Police said Hammond apparently was running a small one-man operation that catered to about a dozen teachers and students and took bets of up to $20 on pro football games and other sports events. But an investigation is continuing to determine how much money Hammond took in and whether other bookmakers were involved, police said.

'Extensive' Records

"The records we got from him are quite extensive," Lt. Brad Merritt said. "But so far we have no indications there was anybody else involved."

There are about 110 teachers and administrators and 2,400 students at Polytechnic High, school officials said.

Merritt said the investigation began in early December, when an unidentified student told school police that Hammond was taking bets. School police asked the Los Angeles Police Department to investigate.

Officers determined that Hammond took bets at the school during lunch breaks and after school, recording each transaction in a notebook, Merritt said. "He never did it during classes," the police official said.

Under state education code and board policies, any teacher found guilty of gambling either with students or on school grounds would be subject to discipline ranging from a letter of reprimand to dismissal, said Ada Treiger, an attorney for the school district.

Times staff writer Sam Enriquez contributed to this story.

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