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Unclassified Info: Going in search of truth and missing money

May 10, 2012|By Gary Huerta

Like a lot of people in Glendale, I have been watching former City Councilman John Drayman, wondering how it is that someone goes from a position of esteem to wearing the blue jumpsuit of a jail inmate.

His fall has not been a rapid descent. Last year, when things began to unravel for Drayman, I backed off from making any comment because it felt like I would be dog-piling on an already unfortunate situation. But with a litany of accusations — including embezzlement, filing false tax returns, money laundering, forgery, and more — it's highly unlikely this columnist's opinion is going to be seen as character assassination.

Unfortunately, his tangled tapestry of trouble is not his burden to bear alone. Some of those who supported and trusted Drayman, including those on the City Council, have commented in the press on how they may be viewed as less ethical merely by association. I'd say that none of us should make that a concern for those currently serving the interests of our city. As I've said before, I may not agree with every decision, but I do hold to a belief that our public servants are doing their best.

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As far as the alleged embezzlement of as much as $880,000 from the Montrose Harvest Market over the course of roughly seven years is concerned, it seems almost incomprehensible that other administrative members in Montrose Shopping Park Assn. did not figure out sooner that so much money was missing.

Unless you hang around in Warren Buffet's circle of friends, that kind of money seems too substantial to overlook. But if you divide the total amount taken over the many months it allegedly occurred, the market would end up shorted somewhere in the vicinity $3,619 a month, or about $900 a week — assuming the market made the same amount each month and the stolen amount was the more conservative estimate of $304,000. That weekly amount is less conspicuous, and therefore an organization could very well overlook it.

I'm not saying this is what Drayman did; but this is how embezzlers typically get away with their crimes for so long. They take an amount small enough that it goes unnoticed for a while. But eventually, if they don't stop, that small number grows until it cannot go without someone sniffing it out.

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