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July 24, 2021

PVUSD trustee faces embezzlement allegations

HOLLISTER—Pajaro Valley Unified School District Trustee Daniel Dodge, Jr. last month was cited and released after being arrested on suspicion of stealing less than $300 worth of product from his employer in Hollister.

Hollister Police Department Chief of Police Carlos Reynoso said officers were called to the True Value Hardware store on the 1200 block of 4th Street on June 21. There, they arrested Dodge on suspicion of embezzlement after his employer elected to press charges, Reynoso said.

The case has not yet been reviewed by the San Benito County District Attorney’s Office to determine whether it will proceed.

Dodge was not taken to jail. Police generally use release on citation for situations that are minor. An individual released on citation must, among other things, pose no risk to the larger community, and the accused must often have no notable criminal background.

The practice is used throughout the state to help reduce the burden on the court system and jails.

“This really was not the crime of the century,” Reynoso said.

Dodge said that on the advice of his attorney that he was unable to make a comment at this time.

Dodge was elected into the Trustee Area 4 seat in 2018, beating longtime incumbent Willie Yahiro.

Since being elected, he has, among other things, helped several projects at PVUSD athletic facilities reach their finish line, including the renovation of the Watsonville High School football field. He was also instrumental in having the POW/MIA flag fly at various district buildings.

The owner of the True Value Hardware store did not return a message seeking comment as of Friday at 5pm.

Tony Nuñez
Managing Editor Tony Nuñez is a longtime member of the Watsonville community who served as Sports Editor for five years before entering his current role in 2019. A Watsonville High, Cabrillo College and San Jose State University alumnus, he covers the city, business, housing, entertainment and more.

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