AC Transit Chief Pleads 'Not Guilty' to Felony Charges

Lewis Clinton Jr., 57, is free on $100,000 bail and will be back in court at the end of May.

AC Transit's chief financial officer pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to four felony counts of grand theft for allegedly taking more than $500,000 from one of Oakland's largest and most prominent churches.

[Related article: Alameda-Contra Costa Transit's Chief Financial Officer ...]
Lewis Clinton Jr., 57, who is free on $100,000 bail, is scheduled to return to Alameda County Superior Court in Hayward on May 28 for a pretrial hearing in his case, which involves allegations that he stole funds from Allen Temple Baptist Church in East Oakland.
James Taranto, an inspector for the Alameda County District Attorney's office, said in a probable cause statement that Clinton was board president of two church-run tax-exempt corporations that provide housing and other services to low and moderate-income people in Oakland.
Clinton also ran a foundation the church created to accept philanthropic gifts. Taranto said that from April 2007 through February 2013 Clinton used his access to the corporations' financial accounts to divert more than $500,000 to a checking account for Eagle Asset Management, an entity solely owned and controlled by Clinton.
In addition, Clinton illegally withdrew $66,000 from a Wells Fargo account belonging to the church between March 2008 and February 2013, according to Taranto.

Among the funds that Clinton allegedly diverted were $400,000 that the church made from the sale of cell phone tower rights, Taranto said.
Clinton, who has been AC Transit's chief financial officer since 2008 and also serves as a trustee for its retirement board, allegedly used church funds for mortgage payments on his home, tuition payments for private schools for his children, loan payments, personal real estate tax payments, a golf club membership and the purchase of at least one luxury car, according to Taranto.
Bus agency general manager David Armijo has placed Clinton on paid administrative leave indefinitely. According to the bus agency's website, Clinton has more than 25 years of experience working in the financial services industry, including commercial banking, investment banking and providing financial advisory services.
After charges were filed against Clinton last month, his attorney, Michael Thorman, said Clinton "is a man of integrity and distinction who is highly regarded by those who know him professionally and through the church."
"The alleged conduct would be totally out of character for who he is," Thorman said.

—By Bay City News
Mike Hunt May 23, 2014 at 02:50 PM
@Rat. would you feel the same way about the golf pro who is accused of molesting his pupils, or the school teacher from Granada when she was accused, or the Hummer Mom? Or a catholic priest or police officer involved in a PAL program accused of molestation?
Desert Rat May 23, 2014 at 06:18 PM
Yep, I would. Now, once they are convicted, I would stand in line with a Louisville Slugger waiting my turn for a few wacks.
Chris Heston May 24, 2014 at 02:34 AM
Rat, Sorry where did it say his financial assets were taken away again? And where was it stated that he was being held to a different standard than any other citizen? Your comment lost me.
Desert Rat May 24, 2014 at 08:27 PM
I wasn't commenting on the article, but the previous post about being paid to stay away. If we are presumed innocent until proven guilty, why would anybody deserve to lose their livelihood until a jury convicts? Even then, if you invest in a 401K or a pension system, why should committing a crime much later in life negate all those years of investing? I'm sure if he is convicted they will go after all the money he may have taken and anything he legitimately earned will end up in lawyer's pockets and paying restitution anyway.


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