The arrests are piling up in the 6,500-employee Los Angeles County Probation Department. FBI agents this week arrested Carl Edward Washington, a Probation Department division chief of intergovernmental relations and former state legislator, reports the Los Angeles Times. Washington, 47, is accused of defrauding a bank and two credit unions by falsely claiming to be a victim of identity theft.
Washington was one of at least 40 county probation employees arrested in the last 12 months, 32 of whom were sworn law enforcement officers. Probation officials said the latest arrest was part of an internal crackdown on misconduct in the department, which is responsible for supervising about 80,000 criminals who have been released from jail or juvenile detention. Chief Jerry Powers said he was aware of other investigations and had begun to institute new policies, such as requiring potential hires to undergo polygraph tests, to root out the problem. “There will be arrests in the future as we continue to rid the department of these employees,” Powers said. “This is a very painful process but a necessary one.”