Former DWP Employee Charged for Allegedly Misappropriating More Than $4 Million in Public Funds

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

The Department of Water and Power building in downtown Los Angeles is shown. (Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

A former DWP employee has been charged with 27 felonies, including alleged embezzlement and misappropriating more than $4 million in public funds, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Thursday.

Thatcus Carl Richard, 64, was arrested in San Bernardino County Wednesday on nine counts each of conflict of interest, public officer crime and embezzlement by a public officer with an excessive-taking allegation of more than $1 million, a news release stated.

If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in state prison.

Richard was in charge of managing video and audio jobs for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power between July 1996 and March 2014, the DA stated.

Prosecutors say Richard enlisted friends to make audio-video companies, then helped award them DWP contracts before they subcontracted the work to his company, Top Line Communications.

“Richard also is accused of using DWP equipment and resources for his personal gain,” the DA news release stated.

Richard is expected to be arraigned next week.

Prosecutors requested his bail be set at $1.2 million.