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Pleasanton recreation supervisor arrested for theft

Original post made on Jan 24, 2013

Ian Anderson, a recreation supervisor employed by the city of Pleasanton, was arrested Thursday and charged with embezzling $300 worth of city services for his personal benefit.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, January 24, 2013, 6:15 PM

Comments (87)

Posted by S, a resident of another community
on Jan 24, 2013 at 7:35 pm

I know what he did was wrong but $300.00?? Maybe a reprimand and a week without pay would be ok. We have state and federal officals steal thousands and nothing ever happens to them. I guess it depends on how high up you are.


Posted by outrageous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2013 at 7:44 pm

"Only" $300? You've got to be kidding. If he was caught for stealing $300, how much else did he steal that was never caught?

Did he sell lists of names of people registered for recreation classes? Rig contracts? Steal equipment?


Posted by S, a resident of another community
on Jan 24, 2013 at 7:56 pm

Oh my god Outrageous, why does everyone in this town alway try to make it out to more than it really is? You do know that it could be just that amount and NOTHING else. What he did was wrong but there have been worse things done. The next time a kid steals a piece of candy from the store we should do the same? After all, what's wrong is wrong and that goes for ANYONE, ANY AGE!!!!


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 24, 2013 at 8:13 pm

throw the thief in jail...i rest my case!


Posted by J.J , a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 24, 2013 at 8:14 pm

$300? Felony? i know i don't know the "complete" story but..The amount of time he puts into the city to coach all of his 3 small children and plenty of other children in this community and others and has done a great job coaching and building the love of sports for our children. Im saddened to hear this news and hope that this can be resolved soon. I understand what he allegedly did was wrong and I'm not condoning it. This minimal amount you would think he could refund the money and pay lessor consequences. Felony seems a bit much. Everyone makes mistakes. I don't believe what he did needs to be blasted all over Pleasanton to ruin his families reputation.


Posted by raised pleasanton, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jan 24, 2013 at 8:28 pm

lol typical pleasanton police that have nothing better to do!- they should really be worried about all the drugs that are going on at the high schools (and have been for YEARS). really $300 dollars. Have YOU never "accidentally" taken paper or pen from work before...that's stealing. this is one of the stupidest things I've read in a while.


Posted by get real^, a resident of Stoneridge
on Jan 24, 2013 at 9:21 pm

300 dollars is hardly an accident. the money didnt just randomly appear in his pocket he took it. youre all awfully biased. had it been anyone else to steal it youd label them a thief. the guys a thief. his charges are over the top but hes a thief no matter how you look at. if he doesnt want a bad reputation for himself and his family then he shouldn't have done it. hes a grown man, certainly after this many years of life you think he would have learned stealing is wrong.


Posted by Mistake?, a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Jan 24, 2013 at 10:23 pm

I wonder if those of you defending Mr. Anderson would feel the same way about his crime if he was a young Latino man? Just curious.


Posted by Jack, a resident of Downtown
on Jan 24, 2013 at 11:03 pm

" Police said Anderson was observed deviating from normal accounting procedures by enrolling his own children in a recreation program.". And for this he gets ARRESTED?
I would rather see my tax dollars go to pay the salary of Mr. Anderson who is doing something for his kids, rather than to the narrow-minded, vindictive idiot who reported him, and to those above him who decided this is a criminal matter...


Posted by Pro-Law, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2013 at 11:04 pm

J.J. -

It is a felony because he is a public / government employee. His is in a position of public trust the way the law is written.


Posted by Susan, a resident of Parkside
on Jan 24, 2013 at 11:41 pm

I think it's amazing that this made the news. The guy works long and hard for the kids in this city. Enrolling his kids in a few classes for free should be a perk for him. It's hardly stealing and it's unfortunate that it's being reported that way. Let his supervisors deal with him, he doesn't need a public lashing and the police certainly should spend their time on actual criminals. I feel bad for him. He made a bad decision - yes. Is he a criminal? No.


Posted by Mike, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jan 24, 2013 at 11:43 pm

He was caught during an investigation into illegal computer access. Looks like his actual crime was using the RD's computer to enroll his own kids in a program without going through the hassle of paying.

Benefits are usually spelled out in the employment contract.

Mike


Posted by S, a resident of another community
on Jan 25, 2013 at 12:16 am

Simon, low class workers shouldn't be trusted with money? Are you crazy? Look at all the top people in the government and big corporations who have SCREWED over this country. This is why we're in trillions of dollars of DEBT and nobody is putting them in jail. We're talking $300.00 that he could have paid back. So for any of you who have ever taken a pen or pencil home from work should be put in jail. Remember, stealing is stealing no matter how small.


Posted by curious, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 25, 2013 at 12:22 am

curious what kind of class. Did his 2 children's attendance ruin the value for the other students? Did those 2 spaces prevent additional paying students from attending. IF both counts are NO, I fail to see a loss.


Posted by Response to raised pleasanton, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 25, 2013 at 12:36 am

You said the cops have nothing better to do? You think they stumbled on this? They were likely called and requested to do an investigation. Had they not done anything, that would be unfair and look like they gave special treatment! And they are worried about all the drugs in high schools... remember that big debate about drug sniffing dogs in the schools?

Taking 2 pens from work is one thing. Defrauding the city of $300 is another thing. Down the road he can work something out with the DA and his employer but its not the police departments job to figure that part out.

And for the people saying a felony is harsh, the Pleasanton Police (or any department for that matter) do not dictate which crime is a felony or misdemeanor. They simply enforce it. And the crime mentioned just happens to be a felony in California as well as most other states.


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Jan 25, 2013 at 12:43 am

Susan wrote: "I think it's amazing that this made the news. The guy works long and hard for the kids in this city. Enrolling his kids in a few classes for free should be a perk for him. It's hardly stealing and it's unfortunate that it's being reported that way. Let his supervisors deal with him, he doesn't need a public lashing and the police certainly should spend their time on actual criminals. I feel bad for him. He made a bad decision - yes. Is he a criminal? No."

I have to disagree with you, Susan. And I hope that you are never ever hired on as a public employee if you believe that one is justified in helping oneself to some free "perks" at public expense because one works hard at their job. It is stealing. There's absolutely no question about that, and your moral compass needs readjusting if you think otherwise.

Imagine yourself interviewing for a job with the city of Pleasanton. The interviewer asks you whether you would think that it would be OK if you used your official job powers in the recreation department to help yourself by enrolling your own kids for free in Pleasanton recreation classes. What would you say? Would you say: "Well, I would be working really hard for the city of Pleasanton so, sure, I guess I should be entitled to enroll my kids for free in Pleasanton classes! I'll just consider it to be a perk for working so hard!"

I think that the reason that many people here are saying that the punishment is too harsh is because they see far more powerful public officials (Mary Hayashi, for example) getting off with just a slap on the wrist for far more serious offenses. That is a problem. But the solution is not to uniformly lower our standards and expectations for public employees but to uniformly raise them.


Posted by Broken trust, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 25, 2013 at 12:49 am

Ian Anderson can afford to pay for his kids classes. According to the state controllers office, a Recreation Supervisor makes about 86K per year and receives another 24k toward his/her pension, and another 20k in medical benefits (the cost for retiree medical benefits aren't included in the database).

Web Link

I say good job to the person that reported the theft.


Posted by Mary, a resident of Birdland
on Jan 25, 2013 at 6:37 am

good jod this guy was powerful public official, and funny guy with leader shoes at pool deck!


Posted by Concerned, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 25, 2013 at 7:39 am

Maybe none of you have ever worked with computers or the system Pleasanton uss to enroll for classes. He didn't steal cash people, he tweaked the computer to enroll his kids for free. Maybe a $300 value, but that isn't the thing. I, myself have enrolled my children and I had to put in my credit card number. So I am wondering, how many of our cc numbers did he get to use or sell to others without a trail....Food for thought. The police and Pleasanton are right, people like this need to be stopped.


Posted by Tim H, a resident of Castlewood
on Jan 25, 2013 at 8:41 am

Once the Nanny State is up and running, public employees become an increased danger to all of us. They feel themselves bigger than us, their "children", and then they start to take advantage. I've heard stories of public employees, especially those who are unionized which gives them yet another layer of protection, who begin taking advantage of the system by enrolling their kids at no expense (except to taxpayers) in state programs, and then proceeding on to more serious crimes.

Its like the pot smoker. If he is not stopped, there is a strong likelihood he'll go on to hashish or kif or perhaps even worse. Among the stories I've heard is that employees of the Nanny State who begin to travel the road to their own ruination will contact emissaries from other states in order to pass along sensitive information. I'm not saying Mr. Anderson is a spy, but it behooves us all to be vigilant. I trust someone will soon be going over his phone records, past travel itinaries, and whether he knows a foreign language. There are plenty of cases out there where park supervisors and the like have been exposed for working with Spain, France, or other socialist countries.


Posted by misplaced sympathy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 25, 2013 at 8:51 am

1. this guy could afford the $300
2. he had access to city computers, planned his crime, knowing it was wrong, and carried out his crime.
3. he has set an incredibly bad example for his kids, who are the only innocent victims in this story.
4. you bleeding hearts condoning this crime don't understand the equal application of our laws.
5. if they let this guy walk away from the crime, what does that tell his co-workers/peers?

This was all very unnecessary...this guys lack of respect for himself and his employer has ruined his reputation.


Posted by outrageous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 25, 2013 at 8:55 am

The Contra Costa Times this morning reports that a fire captain stole hundreds of items from fire stations Web Link

Anderson and the fire captain should both be punished harshly for their crimes.


Posted by KC, a resident of Country Fair
on Jan 25, 2013 at 9:15 am

I know what Mr. Anderson did was wrong. But with that said, he is a great person and he helped my son when he was younger, a lot. He was a good mentor to him and I have a lot of respect for him. The punishment should fit the crime so I hope he learns his lesson and can move on from all of this. I wonder if anyone else that works for the City of Pleasanton has done the same thing as Mr. Anderson. I bet if they did a full investigation they would find that other employees took advantage of working for the city as well. I do not condone what Mr. Anderson has done, but I think he will come out ok because of the support he will receive. It was a big mistake. I forgive him.I would feel the same way if it was a Latino and he was as well-liked and respected as Mr. Anderson.


Posted by liberalism is a disease, a resident of Birdland
on Jan 25, 2013 at 9:54 am

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

LOL, p-willy. Thick as a brick! :)


Posted by Suspiciou, a resident of Birdland
on Jan 25, 2013 at 10:18 am

"it was only $300." THIS TIME. This time he got caught. Stealing is stealing whether millions, $300, or pens. How many other times has this happened and he got away with it?


Posted by Fair is Fair, a resident of Mission Park
on Jan 25, 2013 at 10:18 am

The law is probably cut and dry that a public employee using a computer the way he did is a felony. Seems pretty harsh to me though. Before we throw stones, how many of you are reading this Pleasanton Weekly.com on your computer at work... spending a paid 5 minutes doing something personal, using the work printer/copier for personal reasons every once in a while, took home a couple paper clips... come on, don't start acting all perfect now!
Like political correctness sometimes, has our society gone overboard?


Posted by Julie, a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jan 25, 2013 at 10:30 am

Ian Anderson is a good guy.
Getting arrested for a felony, losing his job, publicly shamed, and ruining his life is way out of scale for this bad decision.
Ian was very good to my sons when they worked in the Pleasanton Recreation Department. I believe in accountability but this is wrong!


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 25, 2013 at 10:41 am

" I wonder if anyone else that works for the City of Pleasanton has done the same thing as Mr. Anderson."

I think a full investigation is in order. If Anderson is going to be punished for the 300 dollar deal, so should every employee who may have done something similar.

I do not know Anderson, but it seems that the crime he is accused of is minor compared to other stuff (remember the Hayashi deal?), and it may be that others may have done the same. So look into it and either forgive Anderson or go after everyone who may have done something similar.


Posted by William Tell, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 25, 2013 at 10:49 am

I'm with the bleeding hearts on this one. The city of Pleasanton has robbed and defrauded the taxpayor for years now - Mr. Anderson was only trying to get back at them by holding an $80K/year do-nothing job and then stealing back his tax dollars bit-by-bit - however he could from the city.

It was a white collar crime - he shouldn't have to go to a jail with minority thugs who will likely rape him.


Posted by thistownissowacked, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 25, 2013 at 11:13 am

By definition, this is a crime in Pleasanton. yes.
Why did a city employee choose to turn this co-worker in over $300?
Couldn't this be worked out internally without destroying this good man's life?
Ian Anderson has done so much good for the children in this city. I am sure
he is remorseful for what he has done. Do an investigation, penalize him, make him pay the money back, put him on leave.... Come on Pleasanton, don't you have bigger issues
to gossip about? Focus on the problems of children in this town that Ian was trying to help.
"it's not my kid" drugs, cheating, depression, competitive parents pushing their kids too far in sports and school, and children that are left to feel that they are not good enough for this life and this town and take their own life.


Posted by Tim H, a resident of Castlewood
on Jan 25, 2013 at 11:29 am

The question at this point seems to be whether this gentleman did anything beyond bilking taxpayers out of $300. If he is cleared of any possible so-called wrongdoing in the areas of foriegn intrigue and national security, then merely a light jail sentence would be in order. On the other hand, this may prove to be the tip of the iceberg, and we may have a real international crisis on our hands.


Posted by KC, a resident of another community
on Jan 25, 2013 at 11:37 am

$300, not much, but he may have done this before. Over time, this could add up to a lot more than just three hundred dollars.

I am sure he is a perfectly nice person, however, I believe that we need to start being more picky about people following rules and laws in general. We have people in our society who have broken big laws and have done terrible things, and we look the other way.... especially if they are famous. MAYBE if we make a bigger deal out of small things, then bigger things will matter more to more people.

When you take a job, you need to follow the rules. When you take a public job, then when you mess it up, you are in the position that a lot of people get to know about it.


Posted by Jill, a resident of Birdland
on Jan 25, 2013 at 11:46 am

Lets see, this employee gets charged with a felony while Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi does a much larger theft and gets off with nothing and is allowed to keep her job? Shows you once again that there are two systems of justice. One for elected officials and one for the rest of us.

Also this $300 theft is much less than the theft from public employees who spike their earnings in their last year of employment to greatly increase their lifetime pensions. That is a much larger theft that the taxpayers have to pay for. How come the weekly does not report these types of thefts?


Posted by Don Key, a resident of Canyon Creek
on Jan 25, 2013 at 11:59 am

Have you checked out speeding & rolling through stop-sign tickets lately? This guy is essentially getting a slap on the wrist. Next


Posted by Sandie Betts, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 25, 2013 at 12:01 pm

I know Ian Anderson and know him to be an honorable man of high character who has contributed greatly to the children and community of Pleasanton. Perhaps he made an error in judgement, but this good man's entire career and reputation should not be defined by this one error. I am saddened by his situation, and sincerely hope that he will be judged kindly and fairly, and the situation handled respectfully, and with empathy.


Posted by outrageous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 25, 2013 at 12:22 pm

When public sector employees turn a blind eye to criminal activity of their co-workers, how long is it before Pleasanton becomes "Little Chicago"? I am glad that the city turned over this case to the police and law enforcement.

If any private citizen had hacked into the city's computer and started signing up people for programs without paying, I have no doubt that the police would be at your door in no time!

If employees of any government entity commits a crime, the management of the entity tends to cover it up, not go to police, and plead the 'it was only a single mistake!' nonsense.

If government entities do not go to the police immediately, the end result is that then you get situations like the recent Dina Holder case in Brentwood Web Link where teachers who are convicted child abusers get to remain in classrooms teaching kids.

Public sector employees need to be held to the same standard as private citizens.


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Jan 25, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Jill wrote: "Also this $300 theft is much less than the theft from public employees who spike their earnings in their last year of employment to greatly increase their lifetime pensions..."

Yeah, well two wrongs ....

It's apparent that your line of argument leads to nowhere good. How if he had also enrolled all his friends' kids in Pleasanton classes for free so that we were looking at not a $300 theft but a $3000 theft? Well, $3000 is still a lot less money than any money lost by "spiking" one's earnings for retirement, right? So should we turn a blind eye to a $3000 theft as well, or any other large theft as long as it falls under a certain threshold (say $10,000?) ?


Posted by Bill, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 25, 2013 at 12:35 pm

"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" Matt 7.3.

The former police chief of Bell, CA, takes home a $500,000 per year pension. He has a freak'in forest in his eye.


Posted by S, a resident of another community
on Jan 25, 2013 at 12:49 pm

As Jill said, this employee gets charged with a felony while Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi does a much larger theft and gets off with nothing and is allowed to keep her job? Shows you once again that there are two systems of justice. One for elected officials and one for the rest of us. So can ANYONE give us an answer to this?


Posted by S, a resident of another community
on Jan 25, 2013 at 12:57 pm

If you're going to arrest this guy for stealing then anyone who is at work reading the internet on company time should be arrested. Anyone who has ever took a pen, pencil, paper clip, push pin, notepad, rubber band should ALL be areested. Stealing is stealing now matter how big or how small. One cent worth or one million dollars, its still stealing!!! Don't be a hypocrite. END OF DISCUSSION.


Posted by outrageous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 25, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Hayashi was arrested for a single count of grand theft.

Anderson was arrested for violating two sections of the penal code-the Comprehensive Computer Data Access and Fraud Act as well as embezzlement. The main headline for this article is misleading, but the second headline is accurate.

P.S. Last I heard, Hayashi was out of a job and is no longer an elected official.


Posted by taxpayer, a resident of Downtown
on Jan 25, 2013 at 1:10 pm

This issue is not the amount that he stole, it is the fact that he illegally used the city computers to do it. When you take a job you agree to the terms and the relatively small amount of money lost does not mitigate the fact that he broke a law that carries a felony penalty.
You cannot excuse it by saying that "everyone takes things from work". What can be overlooked in one instance is a serious crime in another.
Is it OK for you to drive home after having just two beers and being well under the legal limit? Of course it is. Is it then also OK for your pilot to fly you home after only two beers? Or maybe your brain surgeon could operate after only two beers.
Different jobs and circumstances have different rules and penalties.


Posted by ElyceMarie, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 25, 2013 at 1:16 pm

All of the people judging this situation based on "limited" knowledge are completely out of line. I am seeing espionage and national security comments... Really?

People really need to hold their judgement of others and pretend that this is a country where people are innocent until proven guilty and where real justice is served.

I am not an overly religious person but in this case Jesus said "let he who is without sin cast the first stone". Get off your high horses and start being human beings.


Posted by S, a resident of another community
on Jan 25, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Taxpayer, what Ian did was wrong, we can agree on that. He NEVER took any money, the city did NOT loose $300.00, he just put his kids in a class. You said, "You cannot excuse it by saying that "everyone takes things from work". What can be overlooked in one instance is a serious crime in another." NOTHING can be overlooked. If you didn't buy it and you take it, then you STOLE it and need to be put in JAIL. No matter how small it is, STEALING is STEALING.


Posted by Jack, a resident of Downtown
on Jan 25, 2013 at 1:30 pm

I seem to remember Mayor Hosterman was using city computers in some sort of non-kosher fashion. Why wasn't she booked into Santa Rita like Mr. Anderson?


Posted by Karma, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 25, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Nobody seems to know why this guy is playing sports in Plesanton do ya? The fact is he is one of the worst coaches the city of Tracy has ever known he yells and belittles the kids and almost got into a full blown riot with his football coching staff against another Tracy organization. He deserves to get what he gets he put himself there. $300 hundread dollars is still alot of money to some people in these times. I do feel sorry for his kids because they did not have anything to do with this, but is he going to teach his kids that it is alright to steal as long as it's in small amounts at a time. Oh and yes the city did lose $300 hundread dollars that they were supposed to collect like they did from everyone else who wanted to play.


Posted by member, a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jan 25, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Oct. 24, 2006--Pleasanton city officials are asking the Alameda County district attorney to review whether Mayor Jennifer Hosterman violated state law by using her city e-mail account to solicit campaign endorsements and donations. "In order to maintain the integrity of the city, we need an outside, objective body to determine whether there has been a violation of the government code," City Manager Nelson Fialho said Monday. "Rather than rendering an opinion ourselves, we thought the best course of action was to refer the matter to the D.A." He planned to forward the information to District Attorney Tom Orloff's office Monday. Hosterman said …

source contra costa times

using city computers for personal benefit...not sure this is the first time this has happened.
if they are going to pursue this then they need to check ALL city employees and make sure that NO ONE got any "free" services.

Going to KARMA...Im not sure how this relates to being a football coach...but...Id be shocked if spots were "stolen" away from any "paying" players...


Posted by Tim H, a resident of Castlewood
on Jan 25, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Wouldn't it be ironic if an investigation of Hosterman and Anderson uncovered something even bigger than we thought? I wonder how well they knew one another? Any travels to foreign countries together? And similar phone calls that couldn't be chalked up to coincidence? The whole thing smacks of international intrigue. I sincerely hope there's no evidence to support what I suspect is becoming more and more clearly a matter of grave national security importance.


Posted by S, a resident of another community
on Jan 25, 2013 at 3:53 pm

You do know a few years back another city employee that worked in the recreation department, Marty Bell was fired for taking money.


Posted by Jill, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 25, 2013 at 4:03 pm

@Sam, you said "So should we turn a blind eye to a $3000 theft as well." I say, No. I was not saying that because the public employees are stealing from the taxpayers by spiking their pensions and they are not being prosecuted that we should let this employee off for theft. Nobody is going after the employees who are stealing from us to spike their pensions because many of those who would be doing the prosecution are also the ones doing the theft. They all think they are entitled to steal that money from the taxpayers. No different than an employee thinking they are entitled to enroll a kid for free, or an employee making toll calls on a business/government paid phone, an employee/elected official using government property for campaigning, an employee letting her spouse get out of paying infrastructure fees for his business, or an employee who raids the office supply cabinet for their own business or personal use.


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Jan 25, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Jack wrote: "I seem to remember Mayor Hosterman was using city computers in some sort of non-kosher fashion. Why wasn't she booked into Santa Rita like Mr. Anderson?"

Without knowing the details of the Hosterman case, I think that there is probably a big difference. In the case of Hosterman, there was probably no criminal intent but simply a case of carelessness. (If you have evidence otherwise, please provide it). Also, it would be difficult to put a dollar value on how much we as taxpayers lost by her emailing campaign materials from her city office computer versus for personal computer. Should we charge her for the extra electricity used by her office computer?

In the case of Anderson, it's difficult to escape the fact that he knew what he was doing with the intention of avoiding the payment of $300. If you can explain his logging onto the city computers and somehow accidentally forgetting to pay for his kids' registrations, then I would say that arrest and criminal charges are inappropriate. But no one here seems to be suggesting that it was all an accident and misunderstanding. Everyone here, including his supporters, seems to accept the fact that he intentionally avoided paying $300 in registration fees using his knowledge of the city's computer systems.


Posted by Robert R., a resident of Canyon Meadows
on Jan 25, 2013 at 5:43 pm

What if the $300 was for sports that he also was coaching for? What if in the past someone told him that for all the hard work and extra unpaid time that he is coaching, he could/should receive free sports for his kids? Something to think about. I know that in other cities and other sport programs you get a discount or free registration if you are a coach and dedicate hours of your own time.

What if the person that turned him in just had it out for him, maybe wanted his job? Or was afraid of someone finding out about something that they had done with much higher consequences?

We shouldn't be so quick to judge. There are lots of facts and missing pieces to this story that seem to be one-sided. I bet if we dig deeper we will be disappointed in the way the city handled this and hope that they learn from their mistreatment of people that have given them years and years of their hard work.


Posted by No Suprise, a resident of Charter Oaks
on Jan 25, 2013 at 6:39 pm

I think the key is is what was stated a Two-week investigation into theft and unlawful access on city-owned computers. I belive somthing must have tipped the Police off to start an investigation. Also I belive not to long ago another recreation imployee was arrested for somthing simalar. did that emloyee report to Mr Anderson? I think the Police are in no winn situation because if waite until it thousands of dollers we would said why did the police not act faster. Please look up what Mr Anderson sallery I think he paid well with excelent health and retierment benifits.


Posted by No Suprise, a resident of Charter Oaks
on Jan 25, 2013 at 6:51 pm

I just looked up Mr Anderson salery the postion start at $69,00 and tops out around $84,324 per I thinks near the top of his pay scake. plus paid vaction medical and retierment.Not to mention over tiem. I think he can offord to pay for his kids just like the rest of us.


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Jan 25, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Robert R. wrote: "What if the $300 was for sports that he also was coaching for? What if in the past someone told him that for all the hard work and extra unpaid time that he is coaching, he could/should receive free sports for his kids?"

If the registration was in a sport that he was also coaching for, then it's still stealing if he didn't have prior permission. I have to explain what "stealing" is to you? How old are you? This is basic stuff. Didn't you learn all this from your Mom and Dad when you were a kid?

If in the past someone with the required authority told him it was OK to register his kids for free and that it was an official, above-board perk of the job, then obviously there is no crime on his part. If that's his defense, then it seems that the matter should have been cleared up and settled before the police showed up though.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 25, 2013 at 8:03 pm

i say mercy but not for the thief...

anybody with such bad judgement does not belong in a leadership position...

what if justice scalia or the black guy thomas had stolen the money...would they be guilty of stealing...

the clarence would likely be hanged and as for scalia, he would get a raise...


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 25, 2013 at 8:06 pm

what would everybody commenting do if Cholo had stolen the chump change?

just asking...tee hee


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 25, 2013 at 8:08 pm

i just though that that money could have been put to good use by spending it on homeless illegals who are getting ill because of the cold and wet weather...


Posted by S, a resident of another community
on Jan 25, 2013 at 10:39 pm

They could have had him pay the $300.00 dollars back and had sent him home a week without pay. If you're going to arrest this guy for stealing then anyone who is at work on the internet on company time should be arrested. Even if its just for one minute, you stole time from the company. Anyone who has ever took a pen, pencil, paper clip, push pin, notepad, rubber band should ALL be areested. STEALING IS STEALING know matter how big or how small. One cent worth or one million dollars, its still STEALING!!! Don't be a hypocrite.


Posted by S, a resident of another community
on Jan 25, 2013 at 10:44 pm

had to fix a few spelling mistakes from above

They could have had him pay back the $300.00 and sent him home a week without pay. If you're going to arrest this guy for stealing then anyone who is at work on the internet on company time should be arrested. Even if its just for one minute, you stole time from the company. Anyone who has ever took a pen, pencil, paper clip, push pin, notepad, rubber band should ALL be arrested. STEALING IS STEALING know matter how big or how small. One cent worth or one million dollars, its still STEALING!!! Don't be a hypocrite.


Posted by outrageous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 25, 2013 at 11:30 pm

S, you are obviously a relative or friend of the employee arrested, yes?

Should Laurie Smith who embezzled city funds with a 'lapping scheme' also have spent a couple of weeks lounging around the house watching TV on unpaid leave?

So how many embezzlers should be in our city government and supposedly supervising youth programs?


Posted by Jack, a resident of Downtown
on Jan 25, 2013 at 11:50 pm

What if a worker at Callippe went out and played nine holes after work? He should be arrested? Or if somebody at the snack bar there helped themselves to a bottle of water? Lock 'em up? Just where is the line?


Posted by outrageous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 25, 2013 at 11:58 pm

Good question Jack. Why don't you go and test your hypothetical situation out? You could go to any golf course or Callippe this weekend, see if they let you play nine holes without paying, then say you are going to take a bottle of water without paying for it and see what happens to you.


Posted by Jack, a resident of Downtown
on Jan 26, 2013 at 12:07 am

That wasn't my question...


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 26, 2013 at 7:03 am

"What if a worker at Callippe went out and played nine holes after work? He should be arrested? Or if somebody at the snack bar there helped themselves to a bottle of water? Lock 'em up? Just where is the line?"

I think this behavior is also wrong, but what Anderson is accused of is a bit bigger than that. He, according to the articles I have read, enrolled his kids using a city computer, bypassing the regular process and the payment. This does two things: it prevents paying children from enrolling (these things often fill up quickly and many have to go on waitlists), and violates federal/state laws, not to mention that is shows a highly unethical work behavior that could, if allowed to continue, escalate to bigger "crimes."

That said, I think jail time is excessive, and I still think that a full investigation is in order. If Anderson will be punished for this, so should anyone who might have done the same or those who knew about the behavior and looked the other way.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 26, 2013 at 7:12 am

" Even if its just for one minute, you stole time from the company. Anyone who has ever took a pen, pencil, paper clip, push pin, notepad, rubber band should ALL be arrested. STEALING IS STEALING know matter how big or how small. One cent worth or one million dollars, its still STEALING!!! Don't be a hypocrite."

You have a good point, but in addition to theft, Anderson "hacked" a computer to bypass the enrollment process - so there are two crimes here: theft and hacking of a city-owned computer. People have gotten in trouble for hacking into systems... I recall reading about a school secretary (another state) who hacked into the system to fix her kid's grades - she got caught and paid dearly for it.

While I think jail time is excessive, I do agree that firing Anderson is appropriate. As a parent who enrolls kids in these programs, I am worried about further crimes, like misuse of the credit card I enter. We need honest employees. And they need to do a full investigation, to see if anyone else is doing something similar.


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Jan 26, 2013 at 7:18 am

S wrote: "They could have had him pay back the $300.00 and sent him home a week without pay. If you're going to arrest this guy for stealing then anyone who is at work on the internet on company time should be arrested. Even if its just for one minute, you stole time from the company. Anyone who has ever took a pen, pencil, paper clip, push pin, notepad, rubber band should ALL be arrested. STEALING IS STEALING know matter how big or how small. ..."

I think that most companies have some kind of "incidental use" rule concerning time on the Internet just as they have an incidental use rule concerning personal phone calls. There's a big difference between what you're talking about here and stealing $300 in registration fees. If I were an employer, I think I could easily overlook an employee's occasional checking personal email or browsing the sports news as long as it were kept within reasonable limits (e.g., during lunchtime breaks and occasional coffee breaks). However, outright stealing in the form of using his knowledge of the company computer systems to deliberately avoid paying $300 in fees is another matter. I don't think that I could ever trust him to use the company computers again.

There's also the magnitude of the theft. If it had been a $10 theft, then I think that most everyone would agree that arrest is an overreaction. But to my mind stealing $300 crosses the threshold from minor incident to something more serious. Suppose you saw that a co-worker had a company stapler and a few company pens in his car trunk (a total of about $10 in office supplies). That would be "minor". Now suppose he happens to open his trunk and you see $300 in company office supplies in his trunk (e.g., multiple printer toner cartridges, many packets of printer paper, dozens of company pens, binders, etc.). Wouldn't you now feel differently about the matter? Wouldn't you feel that some threshold has been passed here?


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Jan 26, 2013 at 7:33 am

I don't usually agree with you, Resident, but this time I think you are right on target and make a good point about it being not just about the magnitude of the theft ($300) but also the fact that he hacked a city computer using knowledge entrusted to him as a city employee. That makes the situation even more serious than my hypothetical trunk-filled-with-$300-in-office-supplies example. I don't like the thought of an employee like that having access to city computers when I register my kids for Pleasanton recreation classes and enter my credit card information, either.


Posted by nancy s., a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 26, 2013 at 7:37 am

@robert r
If he was told those things, there would be a procedure to go through. You would sneek to gain access to register your child. Even if it was a disgruntled co worker that turned him in, the following investigation would uncover his accessing the city computers and registering his kids.

He knew what he was doing.


Posted by Jack, a resident of Downtown
on Jan 26, 2013 at 8:35 am

Good points. But my issues and questions remain: While I was in the restaurant business, we would catch people (usually bartenders) stealing all the time. You catch 'em, you fire them on the spot, and it's over. And let me remind you, they were stealing cash. 25 or so of these cases over the years, never pressed charges.
I'm not saying what Mr. Anderson did was right, or even okay. It might even be wrong. A reprimand is certainly in order. If he's done things like this in the past, perhaps even firing him would be the correct action. But ARREST? Santa Rita? Felony? That's my issue! The city has chosen to "sabotage" this guy for a long time for signing his kids up for a few programs. That is ridiculous...


Posted by Resident, a resident of Birdland
on Jan 26, 2013 at 9:15 am

It's an automatic felony because it's a public agency.


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Jan 26, 2013 at 9:32 am

Jack wrote: "Good points. But my issues and questions remain: While I was in the restaurant business, we would catch people (usually bartenders) stealing all the time. You catch 'em, you fire them on the spot, and it's over...I'm not saying what Mr. Anderson did was right, or even okay. It might even be wrong. A reprimand is certainly in order. If he's done things like this in the past, perhaps even firing him would be the correct action. But ARREST? Santa Rita? Felony? That's my issue! The city has chosen to "sabotage" this guy for a long time for signing his kids up for a few programs. That is ridiculous..."

It "might" even be wrong? :-)

I don't know who decided to have him arrested and charged as opposed to simply dismissing him. Maybe there is a standing policy for dealing with situations like this, or maybe someone just wanted to make an example of him.

As for bartenders and the restaurant business, bartenders typically don't have much in the way of financial assets, employee turnover is high, and the employer has a business to run. He probably doesn't think it's worth his time to press criminal or civil charges. He just wants to get another bartender and move on...


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 26, 2013 at 10:33 am

I think that because of the amount, the theft is petty theft and jail time is up to 6 months in a county jail:

Web Link

I am not sure what the punishment for hacking is

Web Link


Posted by outrageous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 26, 2013 at 1:27 pm

You can look up the penalties by looking up Penal Code 502c.

For example...

The penalty is a fine not more than $10,000 or by imprisonment
for 16 months, or two or three years, or by both that fine and imprisonment, or by a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment if the computer hacking involves:
(1) Knowingly accesses and without permission alters, damages,
deletes, destroys, or otherwise uses any data, computer, computer
system, or computer network in order to either (A) devise or execute
any scheme or artifice to defraud, deceive, or extort, or (B)
wrongfully control or obtain money, property, or data.

The penalties are described in full here Web Link


Posted by S, a resident of another community
on Jan 26, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Jack wrote, "What if a worker at Callippe went out and played nine holes after work? He should be arrested? Or if somebody at the snack bar there helped themselves to a bottle of water? Lock 'em up? Just where is the line?" Yes, they stole from the company and should be arrested. STEALING is STEALING. If you're going to punish one you have to punish ALL.


Posted by S, a resident of another community
on Jan 26, 2013 at 2:29 pm

@outrageous, I'm not a relative or friend of this employee and have never met him. It 's just that people in this town are so crazy and (Word removed) I mean we had people talking about "national security" & being a "spy" for another country on this topic. I always tell people if they want a good laugh, go to Pleasanton Weekly and read the comments on something Pleasanton related. The stuff people come up with is just CRAZY.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 26, 2013 at 5:28 pm

"It's an automatic felony because it's a public agency. "

Are you sure? I thought, from what I read, (see link I posted above) that petty theft was a felony only if this was not the first time. I am not sure about the hacking though.

(Note that I am posting as Resident from another Pleasanton neighborhood and the statement about an automatic felony was from "Resident from Birdland")


Posted by outrageous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 26, 2013 at 6:12 pm

If the embezzlement PC 504 charge involves public funds of the US, state, county or city, it it a felony. That is because section 514 of the penal code states:

".... if the embezzlement or defalcation is of the public funds of the United States, or of this state, or of any county or municipality within this state, the offense is a felony, and is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison; and the person so convicted is ineligible thereafter to any office of honor, trust, or profit in this state."


Posted by Tim H, a resident of Castlewood
on Jan 26, 2013 at 10:09 pm

Before we jump to any conclusions about Anderson, Hosterman, and how there may be international and national implications bound up with their collaborative espionage, shouldn't we good Pleasantonians assume them both to be innocent until proven to be spies, embezzlers, or whatever they are?


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 27, 2013 at 12:25 pm

In the Oakland Tribune, the article says that Ian Anderson was charged with "embezzlement by a public employee and unlawful computer access, a felony"

Here is the full article:

Web Link

Tim: I don't think anyone is accusing Anderson of being a spy or anything, but according to all news sources so far, he did use a public computer to alter a database to avoid paying enrollment fees. Yes, everyone is innocent until proven gulty, but things so far do not look good for him.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 27, 2013 at 12:29 pm

and Tim, according to the article I just posted above (Oakland tribune), Anderson "admitted the wrongdoing"


Posted by Tim H, a resident of Castlewood
on Jan 27, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Yes, that is a common ploy used by spies who for whatever reason have thrown in with the enemy. Admit to a lesser charge to throw the interrogators off the trail. I'm not saying as some news reports have suggested that they have engaged in international espionage that has threatened our national security, but it does raise concerns just the same. Kudos to the Pleasanton police force and its fine collaboration with FBI, CIA, and NSA on this highly sensitive and very important matter.


Posted by nancy s, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 27, 2013 at 2:51 pm

If the "Tim H, a resident of Castlewood" that has been commenting on this topic is the same Tim Hunt that gets paid to write a blog for this online periodical, then he needs to be banned from posting and even writing for the PW. Talking about spies and international espionage regarding the Anderson case is ridiculous. I don't think the CIA, FBI or NSA got invloved either. A whistleblower (thank you) provided information on a crime and it was investigate by the local police department. I see no conspiracy theory here. Crazy talk like that in your posts will begin to downgrade the integrity of any blog you put up.


Posted by outrageous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 27, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Tim Hunt, the former editor of the Herald, posts under a registered name of Tim Hunt. I don't believe Tim H a resident of Castlewood is Tim Hunt at all, but is trying to pretend that he is.


Posted by Tim H, a resident of Castlewood
on Jan 27, 2013 at 3:55 pm

My identity is not at issue here. Rather, it is the importance of this case and how it reverberates throughout the community, the region, indeed, the nation and the world. For what begins at felonious $300 may soon build to $3000, $3 million, or, indeed, the entire GNP of certain unnamed 3rd world countries. The evidence that links Anderson to Hosterman is irrefutable. Both last names have three syllabals, and both share the very same middle syllabal. What's more, they are both European names, which is especially significant if my hunch about the nation(s) behind the alleged embezzlement and misuse of computer, God forbid, proves to be correct. Finally, these kinds of innocent appearing shenaningans are all too rare for the connection between Anderson's and Hosterman's activities to be mere coincidence. For those small minded ones among you, no, my name is not Tim Hunt. My name is Timothy Hutton, which may sound familiar to some of you.


Posted by Carol, a resident of Canyon Creek
on Jan 27, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Did the punishment fit the crime? I think not. It all sounds so terrible, hacking into the computer database,embezzlement, fraud. Wasn't he the one in charges of the sports programs? He was more than likely using the database in these systems a lot. The Pleasanton police do a two week investigation and this is all they come up with? I think there is more to the story. Mr. Anderson needs to hire a good attorney. One that goes over every expense report ever turned in by a public employee. From mileage reimbursements to meals. Hope the public employees are ready because it looks like any misuse of funds is considered a felony. Maybe now the city will rethink how they handled this situation? Anderson's attorney should start with the Mayors budget. Mayors are always good at padding their travel expense reports ,especially when traveling on the taxpayers dime.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 27, 2013 at 5:02 pm

I don't know too many "illegals" who steal money from those who trust them...tee hee

My Recommendation: Shame him in public with tar 'n feathers!

i rest my case...


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