The Grid

Now a cloud looms overhead, however. Earlier this month, the state attorney general's was asked to investigate the possibility that john school funds, as well as money collected under the DA's "bad check" program, had been misappropriated.

The prospect of lost or stolen funds came to the attention of the DA's front office after a First Offender Program employee was fired on an unrelated matter. The red flag went up when two johns tried to make installment payments on their $500 fees. When the pair opened were informed only personal checks and money orders were accepted, the men protested, stating they'd paid cash before -- to the fired employee.

After an initial review by a DA investigator, a referral was made to the attorney general, because to probe further might pose a conflict of interest for Hallinan's office.

Heartening to see the new DA is not blind to the need for disinterest.

Heavy Pager Traffic
If it was not already apparent that the Nov. 15 slaying of Vietnamese crime boss Cuong Tran is serious business, consider the pager messages received by two witnesses who gave police information leading to the arrest of a suspect.

Instead of a return phone number, the caller punched in the following numerals: "187."

That's the state Penal Code section for murder.

George Cothran ( and Chuck Finnie ( welcome tips, suggestions, and innuendo. Complaints, however, can be sent to SF Weekly, Attn: The Grid, 425 Brannan, San Francisco,

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