California News: California Attorney General Becerra Announces Arrest, Prosecution of State Employee, Richard Fazlollahi

California News: California Attorney General Becerra Announces Arrest, Prosecution of State Employee, Richard Fazlollahi

SACRAMENTO, CA – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced the arrest of Richard Fazlollahi, a district manager with the California Department of Industrial Relations – Division of Occupational Safety & Health (Cal/OSHA), on bribery charges.  Fazlollahi is alleged to have requested, and agreed to receive, a bribe from a construction company in exchange for reducing penalties the company was facing for workplace safety violations.

“Individuals abusing their positions in government for personal gain violate the trust of the people of California,” said Attorney General Becerra.  “Accepting bribes is illegal and corrupt.  The Department of Justice stands vigilant and will vigorously prosecute abuse and corruption at every opportunity.”

Defendant Fazlollahi’s arrest is the result of an investigation conducted by the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Investigation, and the case will be prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Financial Fraud and Special Prosecution Section.  The investigation was initiated when the company from which the defendant sought a bribe alerted law enforcement.

According to the complaint, after the company exercised its right to challenge citations, the defendant used an informal conference as an opportunity to solicit concrete work for his personal residence in exchange for a reduction in citations.  Operating under the assumption that the concrete work would be completed, Fazlollahi then represented Cal/OSHA at an administrative hearing where he reduced the citations in exactly the manner he had promised the company he would.

It is important to note that a criminal complaint contains charges that must be proven in a court of law.  Every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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SOURCE: news provided by OAG.CA.NEWS on June 22, 2018