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Parks employee charged with theft at recreation center

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The director of a Recreation and Parks center was charged with grand theft and misappropriation of public funds for allegedly stealing $17,000.

A longtime city employee is facing charges of grand theft and misappropriation of public funds for allegedly stealing $17,000 from young athletes and campers who used a Recreation and Parks center.

Carol Brandt was placed on leave in May 2011 after the Controller’s Office turned over evidence of the alleged crimes to the District Attorney. Brandt was the director of the Montecito Heights Recreation Center. She is accused of misappropriating cash payments from adult basketball teams, a soccer team, day campers and the recreation center’s snack bar. 

“It just is unfathomable to me for any city employee to misuse the public’s trust and steal money," Controller Wendy Greuel told KPCC. "What makes it even worse is they were taking this money from children’s lunch money. Just is unbelievable to me.”

“This to me is very personal," said Greuel. "It’s personal that she would allegedly stoop to stealing that lunch money.”

The money was allegedly taken between 2009 and 2010. It is unclear if other funds may have been misused prior to that time period. Brandt became a city employee in 1997.

The controller's findings were turned over to the Public Integrity Division of the District Attorney's Office. 

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