Crime & Justice

LA County probation dept. employees allegedly used county credit cards for personal use

County officials are expected to turn over to prosecutors evidence that suggests some probation department employees used county-issued credit cards to buy gadgets, including televisions and DVD players, for themselves, it was reported today.

The roughly 80 purchases under investigation were made at Best Buy, Sears and Home Depot, Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez reported. A report on the investigation has been handed up to county Chief Executive William Fujioka.

"I will tell you that when I looked at it, I was outraged," Fujioka told Lopez. "I told my folks to immediately start working with the D.A. on it."

The investigation is just the latest to plague the department, which employs about 6,000 people and has an annual budget of about $700 million.

More than 30 of about 170 employees under investigation for misconduct will not be prosecuted because investigators let the statute of limitations expire before turning their findings over to the District Attorney's Office.