Despite his bumbling appearances when he visits the booth at Pebble Beach every year, aging gunslinger Clint Eastwood is apparently not totally senile. So he can’t be happy about that actions of one of his employees.
The Dirty Harry star owns Tehama Golf Club in Carmel, California. And he’s not absentee in his orientation toward club management, it seems, as he appeared at a federal courthouse for the sentencing of a former staffer to 19 months in prison.
Here’s what happened: 50-year-old Neal Morton, director of business affairs at Tehama, was arrested in 2014 for embezzling $182,000 from the club.
According to Eastwood, Morton began his work at Tehama in the bag room. The one-time action hero’s business partner suggested they send Morton to college for (you guessed it) accounting.
Eastwood, magnanimous fellow that he is, decided to do so. “No good deed goes unpunished,” he told reporters, with his characteristic awkward humor, following the sentencing.
In an unreal bit of testimony, Mr. Morton’s attorney begged for mercy, according to Robert Salonga of the San Jose Mercury News.
“Morton and his attorney pleaded for leniency in part by asserting Morton gave much of the money away to undisclosed charities, the needy, and to help neighbors and friends spay and neuter their pets, in what Judge Edward J. Davila likened to a “Robin Hood” allegory.”
Spay and neuter their pets! Robin Hood! Incredible! We ought to be giving this shining light of Monterey Bay and award, not a jail cell!
In addition to the $182K of unauthorized petty cash checks and forged checks, the club’s own forensic accounting revealed an additional several hundred thousand dollars in redirected funds suspected to have wound up in “Robin Hood’s” pocket.
And of course, Tehama shelled out hundreds of thousands of dollars to investigate and then repair financial records, which were “ruined,” according to federal prosecutor Thomas Newman.
Damn. It’s unfortunate Eastwood didn’t go all Walt Kowalski of Gran Torino on his former employee.
Take care, now.