MARIN COUNTY (CBS SF) — The former executive director of the Ross Valley Sanitary District has been charged with misappropriating $350,000 in public funds, Marin County District Attorney Ed Berberian said Tuesday.

Brett Richards, 45, is suspected of diverting money loaned to him as part of his compensation package, Berberian said. The money was intended to help him secure housing in the Bay Area.

An eight-month investigation determined that Richards moved the money through a series of bank accounts and never used it as intended, Berberian said.

Shortly before the investigation began, Richards resigned from his job with the sanitary district and left the Bay Area, Berberian said.

Richards’ current whereabouts are unknown, and there is a $1 million warrant out for his arrest, Berberian said.

The district attorney’s office has charged Richards with nine felony counts of misappropriating public funds, embezzling public funds and money laundering, Berberian said.

There is no evidence that other Ross Valley Sanitary District employees or elected board members were complicit in Richards’ alleged actions, Berberian said.

The 113-year-old district collects wastewater from eight communities in Ross Valley including Kentfield, Greenbrae, Ross, San Anselmo and Fairfax.

Anyone with information about Richards’ whereabouts is asked to contact Chief Inspector Rob Guidi of the Marin County district attorney’s investigations unit at (415) 473-6450.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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