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Missing Official Suspected Of Embezzling From San Francisco Community Funds Bought $1.5 Million Coastal Home

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) -- The man suspected of $1.3 million from the Association of Bay Area Governments, an agency providing planning and public monetary services for San Francisco, is reported to have lived a lavish lifestyle.


Clarke Howatt, a financial official with ABAG, bought a 5-bedroom home for $1.53 million along the Oregon coast within a week of the money going missing.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Howatt named 51,000 square foot home "Rincon Hill." That's the same name of the San Francisco development project at the center of the alleged theft.

The house in Pacific City, Ore. is in a rental listing on Craigslist that states it includes five hot tubs, a boat house and ocean views from every room.

Howatt also own homes on Maui and in Moraga and recently sold a home in Dublin for $745,000. He is also owns an extensive collection of fine art.

The money--that was supposed to go to the San Francisco for Rincon Hill landscape improvements-- was discovered missing last December during and audit

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera told KCBS that they want the money returned.

"We have asked ABAG, who was holding the money and dispersed it, for the money back and if they're unable to get that money back, we've ask the appropriate authorities to investigate."

That would include the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The Chronicle reported that Howatt has disappeared and has not been found but that he sent in a resignation letter to ABAG stating that he would try to repay the money.

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