Anti-Child Abuse Funds Delayed Pending Report

The City Council last week delayed appropriating $22,000 for the second phase of the city's child sexual abuse prevention program until questions about the program's operation are resolved.

Councilman Gil Archuletta said he was concerned about how program funds were being spent and asked for the coordinator, Etty Garber, to submit a detailed report at the council's Feb. 5 meeting. The council, however, allocated $5,000 to continue the program until that review.

"It may be that our original intent--that is to work with children and parents and teachers in Manhattan Beach--is not being carried out or is being expanded in scope," Archuletta said.

The Community Health Education Project, as it is formally titled, was established by the council last summer in the wake of allegations of widespread child molestation at two Manhattan Beach preschools. Program funds totaling $66,000 were to be distributed in three phases pending council review.

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