Informer’s Bill For Sally Case
by Charlie Raudebaugh


Helping police foil a burglary plot against Sally Stanford cost Marin county builder Robert K. Worthington $150,000 according to a claim filed with the State Board of Control yesterday.

Worthington in a petition presented by San Francisco attorney Lewis Yapp, said he not only lost $100,000 in business but suffered physical and emotional damage as results of threats and an attack on his life.

The claim was filed under a law adopted by the Legislature last year that provides compensation for losses incurred by private citizens who assist and cooperate in the apprehension of a criminal.

Worthington said his contracting business went to pot because of the time he spent helping police after officer Salvatore Polani approached Worthington with a plan to burglarize the Pacific Heights mansion of Miss Stanford, former nightlife figure and Sausalito restaurateur.

Polani and three ex-convicts were sent to prison after a trial at which Worthington was a key witness. His testimony was backed up by recordings obtained during the time he was pretending — with police approval — to go along with the burglary plot.

Three weeks before the trial, Worthington was ambushed in Lucas Valley but suffered only a superficial arm wound.

"I had to move my wife and children to a hideout, and I never knew when I stepped on the starter of my truck whether it was wired to a bomb," said Worthington.

"It has become almost impossible for me to get financing for construction jobs. One bondsman I had dealt with wouldn’t do anymore business with me because he was afraid I might become ‘incapacitated.’

"It was nine months between the first approach by Polani and the trial. No businessman can shut his doors — or have them shut — for nine months."


Originally appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, March 1966


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