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San Diego

The first defendant to be sentenced for his involvement in the Port District purchasing scandal was sentenced Tuesday to 90 days in a private work furlough program.

William Clair, 59, a retired Harbor Police Department lieutenant, was also placed on three years’ probation, ordered to pay the San Diego Unified Port District $9,297 in restitution and fined $100.

Clair pleaded guilty Dec. 30 to grand theft after Port District funds were used to pay for a new patio and fence at his Ramona home as well as for a new engine for his truck. The port was billed through phony invoices.

San Diego Municipal Judge Jesus Rodriguez ordered Clair to report to the work furlough program March 21. Rodriguez also declined to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor.

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Five other people have been charged in the purchasing scandal, which authorities say bilked the Port District out of at least $700,000.

Both the district attorney’s office and Clair’s lawyer say Clair was not a ringleader in the scandal but was someone on the periphery who benefited from a “corrupt system.”


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