District embezzlement update

The man charged with embezzling money from the district last October has been sentenced April 26.

Bradley Witham, director of information technology support at the San Mateo County Community College District, was charged with embezzlement on Oct. 26. Witham embezzled $150,000 in computer equipment, which he then resold.

Steve Wagstaffe, District Attorney, attended the sentencing hearing April 26. As reported by Wagstaffe, Witham will receive three years in prison. The defense had requested two years while the district attorney requested four years.

“The judge decided to go in the middle,” said Wagstaffe.

According to Kathy Blackwood, chief financial officer of the district, Witham was caught when he tried turning in receipts that did not match what was purchased. The system has been changed since then in order to assure that this does not happen again.

Purchases will be placed by an individual, but not by the person who will be receiving the item. The receipts will then be put through a thorough review, then scanned, uploaded and finally audited. Auditors now have a system in place that will help sort and look at the receipts in order to spot anything suspicious or anything that doesn’t follow the guidelines.

“We plan to be efficient and do the best in every way possible,” said Blackwood.