Probation officer arrested for fraud

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A probation officer was arrested today for allegedly filing nine fraudulent on-the-job injury claims. Rochelle Williams, who has worked for the Los Angeles County Probation Department since February 2006, has been relieved of duty and placed on administrative leave, according to department officials.

The alleged fraudulent claims date back to November 2009 and were investigated by the California Department of Insurance, which served an arrest warrant on Williams this morning at the department’s headquarters in Downey.

The complaint against Williams alleges that she forged both departmental and medical documents to support her claims.

“We are continuing to work closely with other law enforcement agencies, including the Los Angeles County District Attorney‘s Office, to crack down on instances of employee fraud,” said Chief Probation Officer Jerry Powers.

He said the department is initiating investigations into several other potential criminal cases involving its employees.

Powers said employee misconduct related to worker compensation claims has been an area of primary concern for the department. While he stressed that most probation employees are hard-working professionals, he said he hoped to send a message with this arrest.

“Hopefully this will serve as a clear message that this chief and this Probation Department will not tolerate criminal behavior by the staff. This is a law enforcement agency and, as such, we will hold ourselves to a higher standard both on and off duty,” Powers said.

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