It’s the end of an era for the City of Los Angeles Municipal Tax Collector, who was accused of defrauding taxpayers out of millions in public funds.
Municipalities are required to disclose the names of their top officials to the public in order to protect public health and safety, but a recent investigation found that the city’s public information officer had made it a habit to hide information about corrupt officials, the LA Times reported.
In 2014, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office filed a civil complaint against the tax collector, saying he had used his position to defraud taxpayers out $3.7 million.
The district attorney alleged that, in 2015, he received a “dramatic escalation of demands” from the county to turn over records.
The complaint alleged that the records showed “that the tax collectors had made numerous payments of more than $5 million in false statements to taxpayers, and that they had lied to federal investigators about their activities.”
Municipality officials did not respond to requests for comment, but the Los Angles Times reported that the LA County District attorney’s office has referred the case to the state’s attorney’s general.
According to the Los Angeles Times, in a statement on Wednesday, the city says the charges are false and false statements against an elected official are not an allegation.
“We stand behind our tax collectors and will continue to vigorously defend them in this matter,” the statement said.
“We will also continue to ensure the public receives accurate information about the City’s tax collection efforts.”