AC Transit official pleads not guilty to charges of embezzling from Oakland church

| May 22, 2014

HAYWARD — AC Transit's chief financial officer appeared in Alameda County Superior Court on Wednesday morning and entered a not guilty plea to charges he embezzled more than $500,000 from one of Oakland's largest churches.

Lewis Clinton Jr., 57, faces four counts of grand theft with white-collar enhancements after prosecutors say he embezzled money from the Allen Temple Baptist Church from 2007 through 2013.

Clinton was accompanied by his wife and his attorney, Michael Thorman, at the Hayward Hall of Justice.

After Clinton entered his plea, Judge Scott Patton ordered a conditional exam in the case, which would allow some of the witnesses' testimony to be taped and replayed at trial, if necessary. Such exams are used when witnesses are elderly, ill or unable to attend a trial.

The judge set the exam for Wednesday and a subsequent pretrial hearing for early July.

Clinton remained silent as he held his wife's hand while exiting the courtroom. He is a parishioner at the 5,000-member church and served on three overlapping volunteer boards that administered hundreds of thousands of dollars meant to provide housing and help for low- and moderate-income residents.

Officials believe he used the money that he allegedly embezzled to pay for a luxury car, private schooling for his children, mortgage payments and a golf club membership, according to court documents.

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Category: Church Security

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