A former dean at East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park pleaded not guilty Friday to two felony charges for allegedly overbilling the school by more than $1,500 for trips he took.
Paul De La Cerda, 47, was charged last month with one felony count each of misappropriation of government funds and embezzlement of government funds, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
De La Cerda allegedly overbilled the college by roughly $1,575 for several hotel stays between 2017 and 2019 and allegedly forged documents he submitted for reimbursement, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
De La Cerda’s LinkedIn page says he was the dean of instruction, student advancement, workforce & innovation/DEI Programs at East Los Angeles College from 2013 to June 2021.
Kristin Anhala, executive assistant to the president of East L.A. College, confirmed to City News Service that De La Cerda left the school in June 2021.
De La Cerda’s LinkedIn page also says that, since July, he has been assistant superintendent/vice president of instruction at Cabrillo College, in Aptos, California, an unincorporated town in Santa Cruz County.
De La Cerda was placed on administrative leave until Jan. 31 by the Cabrillo College Board of Trustees, the website Lookout Santa Cruz reported.
“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 last month announcing the charges.