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Probe: July 19, 2001

July 19, 2001

QUESTION: It's come to my attention that a teacher at my daughter's school in Brawley was arrested for embezzlement. This happened in April, but nothing's been in the paper and this teacher was never put on any kind of leave. This concerns me because it's also my understanding that this was her third offense. Where does this case stand and will this teacher be in a classroom next year? — Concerned Parent, Brawley

Eileen Roca, 46, of Brawley will be in court Friday morning for a pretrial hearing. She is a special education teacher at J.W. Oakley Elementary School in Brawley and was arrested April 23 for embezzlement. She posted bail, went back to school the next day, and finished out the school year, according to Brawley police Sgt. John Myers.

As far as we can tell, she is still employed there.

Myers told us the case began after a Costco security officer from San Diego called him in April about some suspicious store returns that had been made. Myers said items had been bought at the El Centro Costco with an Oakley school purchase order, then some of the items were returned for cash in San Diego with an altered receipt.

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More incidences were found after some investigation, Myers said. The items were mostly computer-related and fell in the $50 to $80 price range.

Roca does have two old convictions for misdemeanor petty theft. Those don't disqualify one from getting a teaching license. A felony conviction will.

QUESTION: Thanks for telling me John Hunter's name, but how can I get hold of him? — Seeker, No City

John Hunter, the Poway man who stepped ahead of local blowhards, politicians and blowhard politicians and got together with other volunteers to put water jugs and blue flags in the desert, would be happy to share his phone number. You can call Hunter or his colleagues at their business, Starbridge, at 233-9908 or send an email to H2ostation@aol.com

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