Local school district embezzlement case

Former head of transportation department testifies

Indio - The former head of the Coachella Valley Unified School District's transportation department testified today that a body shop owner who
claims he and the transportation director received district money for repairs
that weren't done was lying.

Raul Portillo Lopez, 56, is accused of misappropriating more than
$200,000 in funds between 2003 and 2007. He faces 27 felony counts, including misappropriation of funds and embezzlement. His longtime girlfriend, Clemencia Ochoa, is charged with four felony counts of grand theft in excess of $400 for allegedly signing timesheets for overtime she never worked.

Closing arguments in the case are scheduled for Friday morning.  Lopez, who worked for the district for 25 years and as transportation director for the last 10 of those years, authorized more than $109,000 in
payments for vehicle parts for district vehicle repairs that were instead used
at his own auto repair shop, prosecutors claim.

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