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L.A. probation officer arrested in alleged workers' comp fraud

September 4, 2012 | 12:42 pm

 An L.A. County probation officer was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of workers' compensation insurance fraud, and officials say other potential criminal investigations are ongoing into other employees in the department.

Rochelle Williams, a six-year probation department veteran, allegedly filed nine fraudulent on-the-job injury claims dating to November 2009, according to county probation officials who made the arrest with state insurance investigators at the agency's Downey headquarters.

Authorities say Williams forged "both departmental and medical documents, including signatures, to support her claims for workers compensation."

Williams has been relieved of duty and placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the administrative and criminal investigations, according to Los Angeles County Chief Probation Officer Jerry Powers.

The  county Probation Department is currently initiating investigations into several other potential criminal cases involving department employees, officials said in a statement.

Powers said he is committed to ensuring that all staff in the Probation Department adhere to the highest standards required of a professional law enforcement organization and will seek appropriate remedies, including criminal prosecution when staff violate the laws

“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,” Powers stated, noting workers' compensation fraud and criminal activity are some of issues he has addressed since taking over the department.

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

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-- Richard Winton

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