The dean of East Los Angeles College and a former Saugus Union School District board president was charged with two separate counts of fraud on Wednesday, according to officials in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Pual De La Cerda, 47, was charged with one felony count each of misappropriation of government funds and embezzlement of government funds. According to a news release from the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office, De La Cerda is accused of overbilling his employer for trips he took.
“Between March 2017 and 2019, the defendant is accused of overbilling East Los Angeles College roughly $1,575 for several hotel stays,” read the statement from the D.A.’s Office. “He allegedly forged documents he submitted for reimbursement.”
“My office will continue to strive to root out public corruption in order to make government clean,” District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement.
He is expected to be arraigned on Jan. 7 in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.
The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Fraud and Cyber Crimes.
De La Cerda first began his tenure on the Saugus Union School District board in 2005 and served three consecutive terms of four years, plus one additional year to align the election cycle years. He also served in 2008-2010 in a marketing position for The Signal.
He has served in a number of education-related positions since retiring from the board in 2018, and as of the publication of this article, was a listed member of the city of Santa Clarita Human Relations Round Table.
De La Cerda could not immediately be reached for comment on Thursday morning.