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What's going on with the Wolfe case?

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Posted: Friday, March 18, 2005 10:00 pm

What's going on with the Andy Wolfe case? Is the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office bobbling the ball on this one?

Wolfe is the former Lodi High athletic director suspected of misusing money from an AAU account. Wolfe wrote an AAU check to a local contractor to cover work on a training room -- work that some maintain was Wolfe's own personal obligation.

The Lodi Police Department conducted a thorough investigation of the possible abuse, then forwarded the case to the District Attorney.

That's routine.

After reviewing the case, the District Attorney announced through the Lodi Police Department that it was bringing two misdemeanor embezzlement charges against Wolfe.

That's not routine.

Typically, the DA's office itself announces criminal charges, if such an announcement is made, sometimes with the police agency involved.

Seldom does the DA just punt the chore to the police.

Adding to the confusion: The announcement came on a court holiday. No one was available in the District Attorney's office to add comment or context to the charges. The police department was left, it seemed, holding the bag.

A few days later, it was announced that Wolfe faced just one charge, not two.


Again, not routine.

Then it was announced that the DA's top attorneys were reviewing the single charge to see if it is indeed appropriate.

Finally, this week, the DA announced that an opinion is being sought from the state Attorney General's office.

On a single misdemeanor charge?

Not at all routine.

This isn't the Enron prosecution, for gosh sakes.

Can't the county prosecutor's office make up its collective mind?

If there were qualms about the case, why wasn't the DA's brass consulted early on? Or the Attorney General?

If a charge, or charges, were to be filed, why wasn't it announced accurately by the DA's office itself, with proper context?

It can only be hoped that the case's progress -- or resolution -- goes more smoothly.

API scores thrilling, perplexing

We're thrilled, disappointed and a little mystified at this year's Academic Performance Index scores of local schools.

API scores at five area high schools improved -- some a little, some a lot. Galt and Bear Creek lead the way. Now parents can feel comfortable their children attend high schools that are mostly above average and no worse than average in any event.

But API scores at elementary schools are lackluster to dismal. Among Lodi Unified School District elementary schools, nine improved, four declined, and 11 achieved rankings similar to last year. Among Galt area schools, four improved and two stayed put.

But what is most distressing is the ranking of LUSD elementary schools when compared to schools with similar demographics. Only two, brand-new Lois Borchardt School and Vinewood, have students achieving better than most of their peers. None was average. The other 25 had below average performance scores.

The story is similar at middle schools except for Elkhorn School which caters to gifted students.

Among the questions this raises: How could so many below-average elementary schools feed into high schools which suddenly produce above average achievement?

The seeming contradiction warrants investigation and explanation, if any is possible.

-- Lodi News-Sentinel



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