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Ex-DWP Technician Pleads Not Guilty To Misappropriation Of $4M In Public Funds

LOS ANGELES ( — A former Department of Water and Power technician pleaded not guilty Monday to misappropriating more than $4 million in public funds from the utility.

Thatcus Carl Richard, 64, of Moreno Valley, was arrested Wednesday and is charged with more than two dozen counts, including conflict of interest, public officer crime and embezzlement by a public officer.

Prosecutors say between July 1996 and March 2014, Richard — who was in charge of managing video and audio jobs for the utility — allegedly enlisted friends to establish audio-visual companies and then helped award DWP contracts to them.

In exchange, these companies would then allegedly subcontract the work to a company owned by the defendant called Top Line Communications, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Richard also is accused of using DWP equipment and resources for his personal gain, prosecutors said.

Bail was set at $775,000.

A bail-review hearing is set for June 25.

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