California officials charged with misspending public funds

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California's attorney general has charged five current and former public officials with misspending money and mishandling hazardous waste at a rural water agency.

The felony charges filed Wednesday by Attorney General Xavier Becerra allege the officials used public funds for things including kitchen remodels, baseball games, and Katy Perry concert tickets.

The prosecutions follow a 2017 state audit of the Panoche Water District in central California. State officials called the water district's lack of financial oversight "shocking."

Authorities say further investigation also found barrels of hazardous chemicals buried at the water district. The felony charges range from conspiracy to misappropriating public funds to unlawful disposal of hazardous waste.

The water district's current general manager, Ara Azhderian, who has not been charged, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Photo: Getty Images

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content