Legal: Jail Was Close-By

Law enforcement officials have long subscribed to the thought that most criminals get caught because they aren’t very bright. Take Gale Hartman, for example. The 80-year-old pleaded no contest to charges he stolen $119,000 from the Venture Police Community Foundation in Venture, Calif. The theft occurred over a four-year period while he was the organization’s treasurer. He was arrested back in November, according to the Ventura County District Attorney Greg Totten. Hartman pleaded no contest to four counts of felony grand theft for making cash withdrawals from the bank using the organizations debit card. The Lincoln, Neb., native will be sentenced on March 25 and is expected to year up to one year in jail and five years of probation. Hartman had worked for the Ventura Police Department since 2012 and was fired in August 2018 during the investigation of possible fraud. The district attorney took over the case as an independent agency. His Facebook page still shows the city and police department connection. His last posting was March 10 in support of an Alzheimer’s Association fundraiser. The foundation supports youth, community, and public safety programs.