Move over, Robert Rizzo and Jeffery Hubbard: another public official who lives in Orange County but worked in Los Angeles County is corrupt as hell. William Douglas Agopian resides in Santa Ana, but the 61-year-old was the chief business officer with the Lynwood Unified School District, from whom he admits to embezzling more than $700,000 in taxpayer funds so he could pay his personal taxes and buy gasoline, hotel expenses, tickets to Major League Baseball games and parts for his hot tub.
After having previously pleaded not guilty in Los Angeles County Superior Court to 21 felony counts including embezzlement, misappropriation of public funds and filing false tax returns--which could have sent Agopian to prison for 19 years--he pleaded guilty as his preliminary hearing was beginning Tuesday to one felony count each of misappropriation of public funds and filing a false tax return.
Judge Michael Tyna could sentence Agopian to five years in state prison at a scheduled Dec. 6 hearing, with a provision to bump that up to eight years behind bars if Agopian fails to repay $700,000 to the school district and around $121,000 to the state's Franchise Tax Board, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office.
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Agopian conceded to plucking money from a school district bank account set up to fund student trips to Lynwood's sister city Talpa, Mexico. The embezzlement happened over a four-year period and was discovered in August 2010 by the district's newly hired director of fiscal services, who was brought in to search for ways the financially strapped district could save money.
Agopian retired the following month, citing medical reasons. Speaking of sick bastards, this one had his elderly mother originally bail him out.
He now enters the OC Hall of Shame with Hubbard, who was fired as the Newport-Mesa Unified School District superintendent after being convicted on corruption charges stemming from his previous tenure as the chief executive of the Beverly Hills Unified School District. The grand piggy of 'em all, of course, is former Huntington Beach resident Rizzo, who is still facing corruption charges stemming from his controversial stint as tiny Bell's city administrator, which earned him about $1.5 million in annual salary and benefits.