Judge denies Greatrex’s request to dismiss embezzlement case
by NEAL PUTNAM
Published - 04/20/18 - 04:48 PM | 2371 views | 0 0 comments | 65 65 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Blue tinted monotone image of a gavel and scales of justice
Blue tinted monotone image of a gavel and scales of justice
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A judge turned down a request Friday to dismiss the embezzlement case against Cindy Greatrex who is accused of stealing $67,935 from the La Jolla Park & Recreation Inc. Board while she was its president.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Michael Groch also denied the request by Greatrex’s attorney, Sharon Appelbaum, that an enhancement on the grand theft charge be dismissed because it has been repealed.

Appelbaum argued the enhancement that specifies the amount of loss has been repealed as of Jan. 1, 2018. If a jury finds the enhancement true as to the amount of loss, it could add one year to a 3-year prison term if Greatrex was convicted at trial.

Groch said the enhancement language that specifies the amount of loss is no longer part of cases after Jan. 1, 2018, but it is still valid on cases filed before then.

“I do find she should be held to answer to that code section,” said Groch.

Greatrex, 51, is set for trial on June 27. She has pleaded not guilty.

Appelbaum told Groch that Greatrex should not have been ordered to stand trial because she did not consent to have an uninterrupted preliminary hearing.

The hearing started on Nov. 14 by Judge Amalia Meza, but then recessed because her first attorney, Paul Neuharth, had a pre-paid vacation planned.

Greatrex was ordered to stand trial on Nov. 30 after the hearing resumed.

A declaration from Neuharth was filed and he wrote she waived her right for an uninterrupted hearing. Groch noted there was no objection by Neuharth to interrupt the hearing.

Greatrex testified for five hours over two days in her Nov. preliminary hearing. She said the checks she wrote to herself as well as some cash advances were to reimburse her for the grant writing services, insurance costs, and other expenses such as payments to vendors that she had paid with her own funds.

“It’s clear to me Judge Meza rejected the defense testimony,” said Groch.

One of the issues at trial will be whether a Chicago company, which received $40,000 in grant writing services, actually exists. At the earlier hearing, Deputy District Attorney Chandelle Konstanzer presented testimony that the Chicago address is only a mail drop box and they could not find the man who wrote the grants.

Greatrex said the Chicago company had more than one employee and a different person signed a contract to do grant writing services.

She maintains she paid vendors and others out of her own pocket and later wrote checks to herself for reimbursement.

Greatrex remains free on $70,000 bond.
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