News Releases

December 30, 2014: Former Pasadena City Official Two Others Charged in $5 Million Embezzlement Scheme

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Jane Robison, Assistant Media Chief
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A former Pasadena Public Works analyst and two of his friends were arrested on charges they embezzled more than $6 million in city money over a decade, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.

Danny R. Wooten (dob 4/07/63), Tyrone Collins (dob 10/12/59) and Melody Jenkins (dob 5/22/68) were arrested this morning by the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation. They are charged in a 60-count felony complaint for arrest warrant, case BA430233, with embezzlement, conflict of interest and grand theft with excessive taking allegations.

The case is being prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Bjorn Dodd with the Public Integrity Division.

Wooten was a management analyst in the city’s Public Works Department, which was in charge of relocating all of the city’s utility lines underground. Between 2004 and March 2014, Wooten is suspected of creating false invoices for the underground utility program and stealing more than $6 million.

He allegedly directed more than $2 million of the stolen money to Collins, who owns Collins Electric. Wooten also allegedly gave Jenkins, who was a temporary Pasadena City employee, more than $40,000 in stolen city money.

In addition, Wooten is suspected of setting up bank accounts in his name and directing city money to two churches he was affiliated with – the Southern California Evangelist Jurisdiction Center and the New Covenant Christian Fellowship Center in Pomona.

Prosecutors said the alleged theft was discovered earlier this year when the city ordered an audit.

If convicted, Wooten faces up to 28 years in state prison. Collins faces up to 18 years in state prison. Jenkins faces up to four years in state prison.

Arraignment information will be announced later.

The case remains under investigation by the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation and the City of Pasadena.