Deputy accused of dipping into towing fees

Tania Chatila pieced this story together from a variety of sources who indicated something fishy was happening in La Puente after Industry Capt. Mike Smith was transferred on a Sunday afternoon.

Here’s the top of the story, and a link:

LOS ANGELES – A sheriff’s deputy is suspected of embezzling nearly half a million dollars in towing fees from the city of La Puente, officials said Thursday.

Sheriff Lee Baca said the department’s Internal Criminal Investigations Bureau is investigating allegations that former traffic Sgt. Joe Dyer stole nearly $500,000.

“My belief is that no one is above the law and I think that the criminal justice system will act appropriately in this case,” Baca said Thursday.

Dyer, who could not be reached for comment, retired in May after detectives “established a need for an investigation regarding funds at the Industry station that were missing,” Baca said.

Dyer’s supervisor, Capt. Michael Smith, was reassigned to the sheriff’s headquarters in Monterey Park effective Sunday, officials said.

The District Attorney is aware of the case, Baca said. He expected it would be submitted for review by the end of the year.

“We’ve done as much as we can to build a good strong case,” Baca said.

The investigation was launched in January.


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