Harding To Pay Restitution

NATOMAS BUZZ readers will be delighted to hear…

The Sac Bee is reporting Frank Harding will pay the Natomas Unified School District $32,553 in restitution. Harding was prosecuted for felony conflict of interest.

Harding agreed today in Sacramento Superior Court to the restitution payment.



  1. Thanks, buzz, for keeping us informed. How are we going to know if it really happens if the district at first declared they didn’t want it? The BUZZ will surely keep us up on this important issue.

  2. Now the district can afford the Community Day school portable and program.

  3. Now, about those $400K+ worth of no-bid contracts that Harding awarded his buddy (and current district employee!) Michael Cannon…

    And Dr. Farrar, we’re still waiting to hear why you didn’t/don’t want restitution. Will someone please make sure the district cashes Harding’s check?

  4. The good news: the money’s being returned.

    The bad news: the same group of idiots get to decide what to do with it.

    While we can hope it’ll be put to good use, it’s also wise to suspect there’s another Harding affair or West Lakeside debacle lurking around the corner. We’ve been given no reason to believe otherwise.

    To paraphrase PJ O’Rourke, giving money and power to these guys is like giving whiskey and car keys to a teenager.

  5. Anonymous says

    Now lets get money back from that sh$#@% land deal he did and lost us tens of thousands of dollars on. How much did he purchase Natomas farm land per acre for?

  6. Anonymous says

    What a glaring example of how pathetic the super. of Natomas School Dist. is. He had many chances to support tax payers and and the law, but he chose to protect a convicted felon and friend. I think he and members of the board lack common sense and need a reality check. Residents here will need to pay particular attention to his leadership, can teachers start a “no confidence vote” measure?

  7. Anonymous says

    Natomas School Dist. paid over 600K per acre for the Westlake site, I think it was 12 acres. More disturbing is the connection of a “quid pro quo”, the owner of the land gave large contributions to start the Host program at the district, it is not a stretch to think that the land value was distorted to return the favor, I wish a story could be done on it. The district never released escrow documents before the deal closed, I am sure other irregularities existed with the land deal, but I guess schools operate under different guidelines.

  8. Westlakeside is actually 41 acres, purchased at $325K per acre. AKT couldn’t get the land annexed into the city (it’s county land outside of the Sacramento boundary). An appraisal commissioned by NUSD valued the land at just over $600K/acre, assuming the property gets annexed. The school district will have to get special dispensation from the city of hook into city utilities should they decide to build and the land ends up not being annexed. (Paraphrasing old Bee article here).

    So AKT “cares about kids” by giving a few hundred K to the Natomas Schools Foundation while raking in millions selling a white elephant parcel to the rubes at the district. I hope I end up being wrong and someday NUSD makes a killing or looks smart having bought up a lot of land… But that’s not consensus opinion (outside of district admin).

  9. Anonymous says

    Thank you NSW, I may have been a little loose on the #’s,The 600k was an original number, and when price went to 325k, NUSD thought it was a bargin. Thank you for confirming the fact that the parcel did not merit such an extreme value, what has been the district’s latest comments, are they planning to build at the site?

  10. Anonymous says

    It’s good to hear the community is ready to listen to teachers in Natomas who have the inside viewpoint on what resources are not reaching the classroom when these top level admin. decisions are made – friends get paid, special projects get funded, all claiming to be related to benefit students when in reality the resources are lining an administrator (or their corporate friend’s) pocket. It’s shameful. As a teacher in the district, I hope that together with the community we can hold NUSD more accountable for the sake of the taxpayers and our students.

  11. It very well may end up that our district admin/board just got caught up in the 2004-05 real estate frenzy/peak and panicked, thinking that they’d better buy now. I would like to know what outside consultants they listened to in making a $13.4 mil purchase. I think this also was about the time that Hovnanian paid a BOATLOAD for the giant Natomas Landing parcel south of Westlake (correct me if I’ve got the timing wrong), so I wonder if that fed a panic buy. Plus I wonder if the giant Westlake school site fiasco and the resulting firestorm also played some role in the district trying to show that they were “thinking ahead.” All it would take would be to be a public forum with Farrar, Cannon, the board to clear the air. I would actually be PLEASED to find out that there were no kickbacks or other felonious shenanigans and that this was just a bad decision made with good intentions. If I was Dr. Farrar, or Mr. Cannon, or a board member, I would think that it would be in my self-interest to clear my name and spread some sunshine at this point, even if my honestly-made decisions turned out to be of dubious quality. I think there are many of us who could respect that, and I think this issue is past the point of just going away.

  12. Correction: The Hovnanian parcel just south of Westlake was “Natomas Central,” not Natomas Landing. Natomas Central sold for $90 million (434 acres) in spring 2004. Hovnanian bought the land from George Tsakopoulos.

  13. Correction: The Hovnanian parcel just south of Westlake was “Natomas Central,” not Natomas Landing. Natomas Central sold for $90 million (434 acres) in spring 2004. Hovnanian bought the land from George Tsakopoulos.

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