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Local woman charged in waste management embezzlement investigation 

Complaint includes a request for an arrest warrant

–The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office has charged Carolyn Grace Goodrich of Paso Robles with nine counts of felony embezzlement and one count of felony public records violations.

In August 2018, the New Times reported that Carl Knudsen, a former IRS auditor authored a report that led to an investigation by the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s office. Knudsen’s report alleged a “lack of documentation” for $445,077 in expenses on a SLO County Integrated Waste Management Authority (IWMA) credit card issued to then IWMA manager, Bill Worrell. Knudsen reported that he found a number of transactions on that credit card that “appeared to be personal in nature.” Worrell announced his retirement and Goodrich resigned shortly after the DA’s office announced it was investigating the possible fraud.

The complaint filed in Superior Court on Aug 3 alleges that between 2014 and 2018 when she was an IWMA employee, Goodrich used public funds to pay personal bills and make personal purchases. The complaint alleges those expenses include paying AT&T $14,181, purchasing TurboTax software for personal use, paying for online services from Truthfinder, PeopleFinders, and Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) and buying personal goods from Lowe’s. The complaint also charges Goodrich with violation of Government Code Section 6200 a felony, alleging that in August 2018, “defendant was an officer having custody of a record, map, book, paper and court proceeding, filed and deposited in a public office, and placed in the defendant’s hands and, as to the whole and part thereof, did steal, remove, secrete, destroy, mutilate, deface, alter and falsify said document.”

The complaint includes a request for an arrest warrant and there is no further information regarding an arrest at this time.

In an email to the Paso Robles Daily News, District Attorney Dan Dow said, “Ms. Carolyn Goodrich of the IWMA is charged with breaching the trust of the public whom she was appointed to serve when she embezzled public money for her benefit and then destroyed volumes of official documents after the District Attorney’s Office sent written notice of our investigation.”

After being sworn into office in January 2015, Dow formed the District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit to aggressively and proactively seek out public corruption at all levels of government. All matters referred to the Public Integrity Unit are thoroughly and fairly reviewed and criminal charges are filed when appropriate.

 

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The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at info@pasoroblesdailynews.com.