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Wednesday, January 23 , 2019, 7:34 pm | Fair 51º


Former Employee Pleads Not Guilty to Embezzling from Santa Barbara Police Department

Karen Flores, who worked for the business office for 22 years, is accused of taking more than $700,000

Karen Flores
Karen Flores

The woman accused of embezzling parking revenues from the Santa Barbara Police Department has pleaded not guilty in Santa Barbara County Superior Court.

Karen Flores, who worked for the Police Department’s business office for 22 years, most recently as a supervisor, had her preliminary hearing setting continued to Oct. 28 so investigators can determine the actual amount lost, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Brian Cota.

Authorities say Flores admitted to taking $100,000 at the time of her Aug. 5 arrest, which followed a seven-month investigation, but is suspected of taking more than $700,000.

If it’s appropriate, the prosecution may amend the charges against Flores, who faces a count of grand theft of embezzlement and four counts of destroying parking citations.

She was placed on unpaid administrative leave after being arrested, but the city’s human resources department told Noozhawk on Tuesday that Flores no longer works for the city.

City employees are entitled to a pension after five years, but a condition of Flores’ release from the County Jail prohibits her from accessing any California Public Employees Retirement System pension or benefits without court approval.

According to the city’s classification and salary range index, the business office supervisor makes $6,831.46 per month at the top step of the salary scale.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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