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Homes, offices of 2 Pasadena City College officials are searched

June 7, 2012 |  4:56 pm

As part of a criminal bribery probe, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office served search warrants at the homes and offices of two high-ranking Pasadena City College officials Thursday morning, officials said.

Investigators searched the homes and on-campus offices of Richard Van Pelt, vice president of administrative services, and Alfred Hutchings, the college's facilities services supervisor, removing documents and computers, said Dave Demerjian, head of the  district attorney's public integrity division.

The investigation of Van Pelt, of Altadena, and Hutchings, of Rancho Palos Verdes, focuses on the solicitation of bribes last year for a competitive contract for the school, Demerjian said. That contract was never awarded. Demerjian declined to name the company involved in the allegation but said the company is based in Los Angeles County.

The office received the complaint in March. No charges have been filed against the two men.

The office is also investigating possible conflicts of interest related to the men's financial interests in other campus contracts, Demerjian said.

The college has placed the two men on administrative leave and has launched an internal investigation, said Mark Rocha, the college's superintendent and president.

The allegations have "angered and saddened all of us, as I know it will for all of you who care about Pasadena City College," Rocha said at an afternoon news conference.

The college has hired an outside accounting firm to conduct an audit and oversee all business and fiscal operations. A preliminary review of the college’s finances indicated that all funds were accounted for, Rocha said.

Van Pelt and Hutchings could not be reached for comment.

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-- Stephen Ceasar

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