Editorial: Moving On

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We were saddened to learn of the embarrassment, unfortunately self-inflicted, suffered recently by former DM News columnist Bill Dean, who admitted to misappropriating funds from the Catalog and eCommerce Club, Northern California, where he served as volunteer treasurer. The story was reported Feb. 6 on Direct Newsline and indicated that Dean has made full restitution, with interest.

It appears that Dean's resignation as a columnist for DM News several months ago and his announcement that he intended to relocate to Los Angeles and start a new career may have been linked to this unfortunate episode. In a statement, Dean said he borrowed funds from the club treasury, with every intention of returning the money, at a time when his personal and business affairs were in dire straits. That is no excuse, of course, for embezzling or borrowing money that doesn't belong to you, and we don't want to rationalize or trivialize the episode.

We are sorry that Dean felt so pressed that he resorted to such a foolish course. At the same time, we are glad that the club's funds have been restored and that Dean has come clean about his transgression. He was respected as a consultant, DM News columnist and insightful observer of the catalog business. He has admitted his mistakes. We hope his former colleagues will forgive him. We wish him peace and success in whatever he does in the future. There's no reason he should not have many more years of constructive service above and beyond the many contributions already made.

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