Paso Robles city employee sentenced to jail

June 5, 2014

prison barsBy KAREN VELIE

A former Paso Robles building, parks and streets maintenance supervisor arrested for allegedly embezzling thousands of dollars from the city, was sentenced to 20 days in jail on May 27.

Facing three felony charges of grand theft and one misdemeanor charge of petty theft, Charles Lorenzen, 52, agreed to a plea agreement with prosecutors. As part of the plea, Lorenzen plead guilty to the misdemeanor charge and the three felony charges were dropped.

San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge Michael Duffy sentenced Lorenzen to 20 days in jail, three years of probation and restitution of $680.69 regarding the charge of petty theft, according to court documents.

In early 2013, city employees informed management that Lorenzen was using his city credit card for personal purchases. In addition, employees claimed Lorenzen had pilfered gas and landscaping supplies.

After city officials refused to look into the allegations of embezzlement, a building maintenance supervisor took a stack of credit card receipts to the police department which initiated an investigation, city sources said.

On Sept. 17, 2013, Charles Lorenzen, 52, was placed on paid administrative leave after Paso Robles police investigators began looking into the theft allegations.

Officers then searched Lorenzen’s Templeton home and removed several pilfered items.

Lorenzen was hired 14 years ago by City Manager Jim App. He is currently out of jail on a $20,000 bond.







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93 Comments

  1. TacomaRose says:

    Yet another softball thrown to someone in city/county management.

    Any regular yokel would have got thrown to the wolves.

    This is yet another example of the Jerry Shea /Covello style of leadership in the DA Ofiice…two types of punishment … one for the annointed ones and one for the “rest.of.us”

    I am quite happy Dan Dow won the DA spot and I hope he dispenses justice on a level playing field. Are you listening Mr. Dow? We are counting on you to be honest and not let guys like Kelly Gearhart off the hook.

  2. OnTheOtherHand says:

    Cronyism for crooks? There is an App for that!

  3. Pelican1 says:

    Yet another App hire….makes you wonder eh?
    What’s his payout going to be?

  4. wineguyjc says:

    So, this guy worked for Public Works in Building Maintenance. Hmm, thus he worked for Doug Monn and isn’t Doug Monn Jeremy Monn’s father?

  5. shelworth says:

    And he gets to keep the thousands he stole? Is this a great country or what?

  6. isoslo says:

    And the race to the bottom continues. If this guy had worked in the private sector he would have been terminated immediately, without pay, been forced to pay full restitution or be sued for restitution and probably been prosecuted as a felon. ( unless he was senior management in which case he would have been given a six figure bonus)

  7. kayaknut says:

    Do we have this straight, steal several thousand from the taxpayers, get caught in spite of Jim App and the entire administration turning a blind eye, start a 8 month taxpayer paid vacation in September, plead guilty to a misdemeanor, get sentenced to what likely will end up to be a few weekends in jail if even that, ordered to pay less than $700, which is likely equal to less than a few days of regular pay. and let us guess will be allowed to “retire” with full pension of close to regular pay or higher thanks to pension spiking and vacation padding. Thank you Jim App, and the people who continue to keep him in office by not voting in people who will fire him.

    • ApathyWillKillYou says:

      kayaknut….

      YOU NAILED IT!

      • SpeakTruth says:

        Yep!

        A felony conviction would have cost him his CalPERS retirement. But since he is only being held accountable for the misdemeanor, and none of the three felonies, he gets off easy.

        While the paid administrative leave is a shame, he is innocent until proven guilty, or in his case, plead guilty. I think he should be made to pay it all back. Lucky for him that’s not my call.

    • achillesheal says:

      That’s the way gubment works. When I worked for the state of California there was an employee who took a state vehicle to his sister’s wedding 200 miles away, used the gas card to buy gas to and from and then wrecked the car driving drunk after the wedding.

      He was fired, then after the union took up his defense, was reinstated with back pay for the time missed. he probably got an apology as well.

      He was also the most useless of public servants. When I asked my supervisor how he felt about the guy being reinstated he said “He wouldn’t be able to work anywhere else, so if he didn’t have a job here, he’d be on welfare”.

      By the way he was making about $70k/year at the time.

    • standup says:

      Kayak, you are wrong here. Did you read alleged? All he did was borrow a rot tortilla rand a weedeater, nothing more, nothing less. All that credit card bs was bs.

    • standup says:

      He stole nothing.

      • kayaknut says:

        What, he was just “borrowing” those pilfered items recovered at his house?????

      • MaryMalone says:

        How about the thousands of dollars and three felonies that were magically plea-bargained away?

  8. justchuck says:

    Thousands of dollars? Then 20 days in jail? And he was on paid administrative leave? Sign me up please.

  9. info says:

    Kudos to the city employees especially the maintenance supervisor. It provides insight on who can make the most difference when it comes to upper management and government corruption. Too bad.

    • ApathyWillKillYou says:

      Charles Lorenzen will probably keep his job or retire and the building maintenance supervisor who took a stack of credit card receipts to the police department will probably be demoted or terminated!

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