Los Angeles-Area Local Government Employee President Charged

Lynwood, California It took about four years for Eric Gonzalez to be caught, but justice apparently is being done. On April 13, Gonzalez, former president of a local government employees union, the Lynwood Employees Association, was arrested by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department on charges of embezzling more than $27,000 from the union. He was also charged with four counts of felony grand theft. Gonzalez pleaded not guilty at his arraignment the following day and was released on his own recognizance.

According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Gonzalez, now 34, a civil engineering technician with the City of Lynwood (population 70,000), during 2011-12 used his position as a union official to make four unauthorized cash withdrawals from an employee association account totaling $27,735 for his own personal use. The withdrawals eventually were discovered by union board members, who then contacted the County Sheriff’s Department. If convicted, Gonzalez faces up to five years in custody.