A former employee of the Worldwide Church of God who ran the facilities services area for several years had his home raided today on charges of accepting bribes in return for building contracts. Rick Van Pelt was over the facilities of the Pasadena campus fro several years and had to have been one of the most disliked facilities managers ever. After WCG start dissolving he jumped ship to go to Pasadena City College to run the facilitates there. We heard for years that the PCC employees disliked him as much as the WCG people did.
Here is an excerpt from the Pasadena Star News: Homes, offices of PCC administrators searched in bribery probe
PASADENA - Investigators from the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office on Thursday searched the homes and offices of two high-ranking Pasadena City College administrators.
Allegations of bribery were leveled against Richard van Pelt, vice president of administrative services, and Al Hutchings, the college's facilities services supervisor, law enforcement officials said.
The two men are accused of taking bribes from contractors in exchange for construction contracts at PCC, officials said.
PCC President Mark Rocha announced Thursday afternoon that both men have been placed on paid administrative leave.
"A preliminary internal review of our books indicates that all funds are intact and properly accounted for," Rocha said. He added that the college has hired an accounting firm for an independent audit.
PCC lists Van Pelt's salary as $172,816, and Hutchings earns $94,348. Van Pelt oversees the department handling business and finances for PCC.
Rocha did not take questions after making the announcement. He said the college wouldn't make further comments about the investigation while it is ongoing.
Van Pelt's home in Altadena and Hutchings' home in Rancho Palos Verdes were searched by investigators from the D.A.'s Public Integrity Division early Thursday morning, said Dave Demerjian, who runs the division.
"We seized computers, documents and other items," Demerjian said.
The investigation began March 29. Neither man has been arrested, Demerjian said.
Van Pelt was recently appointed by the college to a membership on the successor agency to Sierra Madre's Redevelopment Agency. He was recently praised by state officials for his partnership with Pasadena Water and Power in an energy saving program on campus. As recently as 2008, Van Pelt taught an intro to business class on campus, according to ratemyprofessor.com.