Retired Probation Officer Charged with Embezzlement

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Retired Probation Officer Charged with Embezzlement
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Source: Santa Barbara County District Attorney

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced today that a felony complaint will be filed tomorrow against Retired Santa Barbara County Deputy Probation Officer, Manuel Edward Torres, 64, of Santa Maria, California.  Mr. Torres will be charged in a 15 count felony complaint with Misappropriation of Public Funds in violation of Penal Code section 424, Grand Theft of monies from the Santa Barbara County Probation Peace Officers Association, in violation of Penal Code section 487(a), Forgery in violation of Penal Code section 470(d), and False Personation in violation of Penal Code section 529(a)(3), all alleged to have occurred between January 1, 2009 and June 30, 2019.

Mr. Torres will also be charged with 3 counts of Failure to File an Income Tax Return in violation of Revenue and Taxation Code section 19706 for tax years 2009-2011, and 8 counts of Filing a False Income Tax Return in violation of Revenue and Taxation Code section 19706 for tax years 2012-2019.  Additionally, the Aggravated White Collar Crime Enhancement, pursuant to Penal Code section 186.11, will be alleged, stating that the alleged felony conduct in this case amounted to a taking of more than $500,000.

Mr. Torres was arrested on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Santa Maria, California, on a $500,000 arrest warrant, and will be arraigned tomorrow, July 31, 2020, in Department 8 of the Santa Barbara Superior Court in Santa Barbara, Figueroa Division.  

Manuel Torres (Booking Photo: Sheriff's Office)
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Edhat Staff Aug 04, 2020 08:26 PM
Retired Probation Officer Charged with Embezzlement

The comments have been turned off for this article due to numerous violations. Any comment that violates our policies will be deleted. Deleted comments should all be posted in the penalty box soon as we're fixing a glitch in our system. Anyone with any questions should email us at [email protected]
-ed staff

SupportingJustice Aug 04, 2020 05:57 PM
Retired Probation Officer Charged with Embezzlement

Yup. Found the court document online which law abiding citizen was referring to and I made several copies in case they try to delete the court document. Looks like there is beyond reasonable doubt evidence to charge chief TH and deputy chief KS (and others) with 148.5(a) PC and 182(a)(2) PC; we could just circumvent probable cause here.

And Judge Rigali, before you made the decision to release Ed, did you state on the record that Ed coached your kids? Ummm... what’s that thing called.... ummm.... oh yeah... CONFLICT OF INTEREST.

pstarSR Aug 04, 2020 06:11 PM
Retired Probation Officer Charged with Embezzlement

I understand other things may be happening. but there is no mention of OTHER people in trouble. so you two are literally talking to each other only. if this is something you want to share, maybe post it elsewhere? facebook? I dont know, but right now this post is kinda of confusing per the story. there is only mention of this one guy being charged. I bet people would support the cause, if we knew what it was.

a-1596573770 Aug 04, 2020 01:42 PM
Retired Probation Officer Charged with Embezzlement

I am the spouse of, who I believe was your best friend. We stand in support of you. My spouse can corroborate the PPOA meeting when you asked for the financial records. My spouse understood the threat of retaliation, and the alliances within the department.

When is your hearing before the commission?

Anyone who is following this thread; this would be a great way to show your support, if even to stand outside on the sidewalk! Wear a mask!

Law Abiding Citizen Aug 04, 2020 12:19 PM
Retired Probation Officer Charged with Embezzlement

I have reached out to every reporter who has published recent stories about Ed Torres. Recently and over the years. Never once has one of them responded to me for more information. The media is not telling the real story. I am able to finally get out my message here, for an hour or two, before it is taken down. Why would a reporter not want to hear from a person who confronted Ed Torres in 2014?
Don't look at the person behind the current (Wizard of Oz) because the truth is too uncomfortable.

Law Abiding Citizen Aug 04, 2020 10:50 AM
Retired Probation Officer Charged with Embezzlement

I appreciate the support shown here. All PPOA members past and present please remember to file Victim Impact Statements and claims for restitution. Contact Brian Cota and the County DA Victim Witness Office and use the tools of gov't to get out the real story that the media absolutely refuses to cover. All local media outlets have been provided with this information.

Thank about the hypocrisy I am about to share and tell me if any of it makes sense:

1. In 2014 I had been a DPO for 16 years. My career had been destroyed in 2004 simply because I asked the Civil Service Commission to intervene in a minor dispute. The Commission ruled in my favor. However, in response, the Department forcibly transferred me to a desk assignment and refused my transfer and promotion for the remainder of my career. Ten years passed.
2. My pleas to leadership were ignored.
3. In 2014 I asked Ed Torres to provide me legal counsel to represent me at a Civil Service Commission alleging retaliation.
4. I petitioned the Commission and asked the Commission to schedule a hearing as I was alleging the Probation Department had acted with retaliation against me for appearing before the Commission a decade earlier. There was no reason why I had been denied promotion or transfer for more than a decade.
5. Ed Torres refused to help. I had been in the PPOA/union 16 years, paying dues.
6. I appealed and asked the entire PPOA Board to hear my case. They agreed. SC and DR in particular argued against me. The other board members had nothing to say. All those board members should be considered complicit in Ed's crimes. Shame on you. We all know who they are.
7. I called our law firm directly and learned Ed had cancelled the contract with Mastagni etc.
8. I then asked Ed Torres to show me the PPOA financials. He refused.
9. I then demanded a PPOA meeting and told Ed to bring the financials to the meeting. No financials were provided, ever.
10. We had a meeting upstairs at 117 E Carrillo and I stood to speak and said we have a problem as no PPOA financials have been provided despite my requests. I said we need to conduct an audit and have an election. A management representative was present at the meeting. Who was it? Anybody recall?
11. A sham election was held where Ed counted the votes. I did not get a seat on the PPOA Board but all existing members amazingly won reelection.
12. No audit of the PPOA finances was done.
13. A few months later I was suspended after invoking my peace officer bill of rights when I believed I was facing discipline. I had been injured on the job and needed a little extra time to complete a report. I never refused to answer any questions. I simply insisted on my rights and a PPOA rep was present. For that I was suspended and fired. I had to undergo surgery for the injury and am still suffering.
14. Probation management appeared in my officer and I was handed a letter on Jan 8, 2015, which threatened me with termination unless I waived my peace officer rights and answered their questions. I said to all persons present that I had been threatened with discipline and per my peace officer bill of rights I was now invoking those rights and I was recording the discipline. If you want to hear the recording I will post it. Thank goodness I have the recording as it proves that I did nothing wrong.
15. I was escorted out of the building after being read suspension documents.
16. I was ordered to return a few weeks later to be deposed.
17. When I appeared I was read my miranda rights. I thought that was odd.
18. I later learned that I was read my rights because probation leadership had formally asked the DA to file felony criminal charges against me for violating a wire tap law. Mind you, I had told all persons present that I was going to record. It was my right and they were free to leave. KS can be heard saying, "He is recording" when KB walked in to my office 32 seconds after I had been threatened with termination. I know because I have the recording. KB then read me a pre-prepared suspension letter. They had already prepared a suspension letter but later lied before the Commission and said they had never intended to discipline, therefore, they alleged, I was not entitled to my rights. Somehow, they typed up a 7 page suspension/termination letter 32 seconds after threatening to fire me but they later argued that they never intended discipline. Why have these people not been charged with perjury? Why have they not been fired?
So here is the irony...Probation requested that I be sent to prison because I asked for a continuance and then asked for my rights. Doesn't that sound like retaliation?
Yet, when I exposed Torres as an embezzler in 2014, TH and others made no such request of the District Attorney. No, they allowed Torres to remain as a supervisor for 5 more years while he continued to steal and lie and appear in court on their behalf. This happened AFTER he was exposed as the embezzler he is, allegedly.
Do you see the corruption? Ed is corrupt (allegedly) and leadership is corrupt and they are still being paid. There have been no consequences. The Board members who protected Ed and looked the other way are still there.
I have a hearing coming up before the Commission and County Counsel is still insisting that I be subjected to discipline. For what? The court already found I was entitled to my rights and was never insubordinate. It is County Counsel that covered up the misleading statement from a high ranking Probation official that the Commission relied upon to support my wrongful termination. Without the perjury I would not still be suffering. I am still suffering. Think of the financial damage I have suffered. Think of the physical and emotional stress. Think of having your reputation destroyed and job prospects ruined because of what Torres, the PPOA Board and probation management did. They withheld discovery and then flat out lied without any consequences and their "word" can send people to prison today. They wanted me in prison but Torres is walking free today.
This post will be taken down as others have been. Why is this happening?
Like I said, if it can happen to me it can happen to you. Do not fear these people. They only have power because they have been not been challenged. The community and taxpayers deserve better.
Me

a-1596568576 Aug 04, 2020 12:16 PM
Retired Probation Officer Charged with Embezzlement

I wish the department branches weren’t so separate. SB not knowing SM and vice versa allowed and worked in the corruption. I’ve worked for the department for many many years and never even heard of the meeting I wish it would have made more noise up north. These people in admin are so unbelievably corrupt and they continue to get away with $hi#### on good staff by their bullying and intimidation!!

a-1596568361 Aug 04, 2020 12:12 PM
Retired Probation Officer Charged with Embezzlement

What backdoor deals is the current union Leadership making with the Chief ?? Seems awfully odd numerous articles say the Chief initiated contact with the District Attorneys office to kick off the investigation on Ed.

People need to know Torres was writing himself checks pretending to be an attorney. He was Posing as legal counsel for PPOA members who were falsely being accused of things and being subjected to internal affairs investigations.

How much was the Chief getting out of the union dues?

I_Support_law_a... Aug 04, 2020 08:48 AM
Retired Probation Officer Charged with Embezzlement

This is the affidavit from the district attorney. It’s a start but nowhere near all of the facts and all of the truth.

https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/santamariatimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/16/61602fb7-14df-53b6-9532-b233cc4da5c2/5f28b78d4387b.pdf.pdf

a-1596515957 Aug 03, 2020 09:39 PM
Retired Probation Officer Charged with Embezzlement

2019 Pension -$110,206: Manuel Edward Torres
DEP PROBATION OFFICER SUP
Pension: $103,935.12
Benefits: $6,270.96
Total pension & benefits amount: $110,206.08
Last Employer: Santa Barbara County
Years of Service 33.92
Year of Retirement 2019
(Source: Transparent California- Pensions)

SupportingJustice Aug 03, 2020 09:18 PM
Retired Probation Officer Charged with Embezzlement

So Law Abiding Citizen suffers for 6 years and counting for trying to expose Ed and Heitman, and Ed does a couple days in jail and potentially only loses 10 percent of his retirement?

Law Abiding Citizen speaks absolute truth! I remember that meeting where Law Abiding Citizen alerted union members in 2014 that Ed was not providing proper financial statements. I remember Ed’s face in particular while Law Abiding Citizen was trying to explain. Ed rolled his eyes and smirked as if Law Abiding Citizen was a crazy person and had no idea what he was talking about. I wish I supported you more Law Abiding Citizen. We should’ve all supported you then. Several of us are here for you now. #JusticeforLawAbidingCitizen

TheMole Aug 03, 2020 07:54 PM
Retired Probation Officer Charged with Embezzlement

Well, the scumbag has been released. He’s a total flight risk. Link below, warrant PDF is also available for those who are interested. SMH.

https://lompocrecord.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/retired-santa-maria-probation-officer-pleads-not-guilty-released-on-own-recognizance/article_1c65c075-d074-5eba-bbf9-51c6a1a326a8.html

SupportingJustice Aug 03, 2020 08:38 PM
Retired Probation Officer Charged with Embezzlement

Interesting how the interviews of probation manager SC and probation supervisor MS were not addressed. Also, interesting that the judge’s kids also went to St. Joes where Ed coached for years. How many bribes amongst high ranking officials do you think are happening as we speak? Thankfully, it’s 2020 and not the 2000’s. Only a matter of time until the corruption gets exposed.

SupportingJustice Aug 03, 2020 07:57 AM
Retired Probation Officer Charged with Embezzlement

Using the community’s support, several of us former employees plan to volunteer our time to investigate the continued mistreatment of employees at the Probation Department in order to expose the government corruption.... for the benefit of the community and taxpayers. Unlike current probation employees, we do not fear retaliation.

At this juncture, it is evident the probation union serves no purpose, and manager positions were not even necessary at the Probation Department when I was working there because no one even knew what they did for 40 hours a week, yet they get $140k a year plus fringe benefits. Managers were rarely ever around.

I honestly can’t imagine being a victim in this county, as I’d be under the impression that the probation department is effectively supervising the probationers who victimized you. Yes, there are currently thousands of victims out there in our community thinking this.

To the individuals serving on the grand jury, county CEO, and board of supervisors who are paying attention to this, should you choose to to circumvent the investigation of the Probation Department, at the very least, please do what LA County is doing... Have a separate entity oversee the probation department because clearly, the leadership is lacking... and this is an understatement. There is currently one deputy chief who I thought would be trustworthy, but she ended up gaslighting employees as well. No one in the current administration can be trusted to promote the values for which the probation department is supposed to stand for.

Probation employees reading this, please continue to reach out so your stories can be heard.

SupportingJustice Aug 02, 2020 07:02 PM
Retired Probation Officer Charged with Embezzlement

While I appreciate Edhat allowing us to comment and voice our concerns, we have posted on other media platforms. We appreciate the community’s support in trying to end this government corruption. We will not let this issue lose momentum. Otherwise, Tanja will retire in December with an enormous pension. Santa Barbara County Probation Officers, think about what the department has become, and compare that to what it use to be. There is one common denominator for this disaster happening the last several years... Heitman. Not Ed Torres. Probation leadership insinuated @lawabidingcitizen was similar to Charles Manson? Hmmm.... Charles Manson was a master manipulator who manipulated and gaslighted people into doing so many deplorable, unethical, and immoral things. Does this sound familiar?

SupportingJustice Aug 02, 2020 07:50 PM
Retired Probation Officer Charged with Embezzlement

https://www.reddit.com/r/SantaBarbara/comments/i1hw7f/retired_probation_officer_arrested_accused_of/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf

If Santa Barbara County or the grand jury show no progress in addressing the corruption, we will post this on a more popular sub. We have/are in the process of contacting the LA Times, Cal Coast times, and Ventura County Star. We understand this may be a small story, but if the governor gets a hold of this, there is a good possibility the state could re-evaluate funding/defunding probation departments.

a-1596416820 Aug 02, 2020 06:07 PM
Retired Probation Officer Charged with Embezzlement

Since no one is now required to join the union, why keep signing the card that lets them garnish your paycheck? Best way to stop union abuses is to stop funding the union itself. They have to release you from any current union dues paying scheme immediately. Tell them to stop taking your money, starting today. Know your rights. Stop funding theirs corruption. If they don't immediately release your union dues paying obligation, contact the Freedom Foundation for more help.

SupportingJustice Aug 02, 2020 05:27 PM
Retired Probation Officer Charged with Embezzlement

For those several officers who have reached out to me because you don’t know who else to trust, your story will be heard. The truth will be heard. I empathize with your stories.

No one should experience being bullied for doing the right thing. But unfortunately, Probation leadership will continue to do this without proper intervention. They will continue to either eliminate the threat or discredit those individuals knowing the truth. That’s right.... they will continue to gaslight staff. And the probation union is not going to do anything about it because their attorneys are debt collectors at this point. Do you think the attorneys care about representing staff associated with Ed Torres? or just collecting the debt that Ed owes? Think logically, please. I know this from first-hand experience and by being privy to several conversations. I heard the current union liasion even went to Las Vegas with Ed Torres. What is the point of a union again? The scope of this investigation is bigger than just Ed Torres... it’s a web of lies after lies after lies. Unfortunately, several supervisors, managers, deputy chiefs and chief(s) were complicit to this bullying and misconduct. And yes, those individuals are going to be the future of this department whether you taxpayers like it or not.

It’d be interesting to see which staff gets terminated or bullied pending Ed’s court appearances, all just so Probation leadership could continue to hide the truth... eliminate the threat. While the truth would set those staff with integrity free, the same truth would exploit probation leadership.

Nonprofit: does all the rehabilitating.

Probation: tells court how an individual is doing at a nonprofit.

Why can’t the nonprofit agency report to the court on how a client is doing? Is the middleman necessary, especially now that you know what your taxpayer money is going to.

To compound matters further, several of probation’s recommendations are money driven; not doing what’s right. This jeopardizes the community’s safety. Every. Single. Day. Additionally, staff get moved around to different assignments to support federal money. All. The. Time. I remember the probation days when we received sufficient training by seasoned officers and we were able to develop rapport with clients to effectuate change. But the turnover rate is to too high to sufficiently train staff. We are no longer effectuating change like we used to. SB probation has become money grabbers.

Given Heitman’s track record, the grand jury should conduct an audit of probation funds to see where the monies are allocated. If line staff DPO’s top out at $92k a year, imagine the perks the current administration receives. Even with the high pay, the turnover rate is ridiculously so high. As if that’s not a red flag...

We are gaining a lot of community support, so please continue to speak up! More to come...

SupportingJustice Aug 01, 2020 07:37 AM
Retired Probation Officer Charged with Embezzlement

I also recall that while former chief Rabago was under investigation, several staff reported that Ed Torres was rarely ever at work. Ed was instrumental in Rabago’s termination. Once Rabago was removed, Ed Torres received the supervising probation officer of the year award. He also won a couple of more awards after that. Just a reminder, the Probation Department was aware of the embezzling this whole time. This is just one of several examples of the type of behavior that gets rewarded at the Probation Department. Compare that to type of punishment @law abiding citizen received for trying to do the right thing.

SupportingJustice Aug 01, 2020 06:16 AM
Retired Probation Officer Charged with Embezzlement

If Ed and Tanja conspired to get rid of Rabago and @law abiding citizen, that would have to mean that other high ranking officials were complicit. It would be good use of tax payer money to investigate this matter because these high ranking officials are currently making important decisions that “best serve our county.”

And just by using logic, why would the current probation union reach out to Tanja (to talk to Dudley) regarding this possible embezzelment? Union issues are not supposed to be county-related, so the union should’ve gone straight to Dudley. When I was a union member, the union mostly used county resources (taxpayer money) to conduct business. Tanja likes to be in control which is why I wouldn’t be surprised if the current union is still conducting business using county resources (taxpayer money). It’d be interesting to do a study of how much of taxpayer money the current union board uses to conduct business.

a-1596419156 Aug 02, 2020 06:45 PM
Retired Probation Officer Charged with Embezzlement

Thank you for the link to the deleted thread. My husband, retired DPO, remembers it the same way and was present at the PPOA meeting when Law Abiding Citizen spoke up requesting financial accounting of union dues.
Law Abiding Citizen has been used as a warning to others who consider questioning or speaking up when witnessing wrongful actions. Law Abiding Citizen has gone through hell, and we are thankful he/she has shared the background of Torres' embezzlement.

I_Support_law_a... Aug 02, 2020 05:28 PM
Retired Probation Officer Charged with Embezzlement

I have them still. I will retype them all and get them out there for the tax payers to see how corrupt this Santa Barbara County Probation, supervisors, administration, chief and deputy chiefs are

SupportingJustice Aug 01, 2020 06:57 AM
Retired Probation Officer Charged with Embezzlement

Plenty of us were following along live and took screenshots while we shared each post with one another. Here is a link to one of the deleted threads:

https://imgur.com/gallery/CHxN7ve

SupportingJustice Jul 31, 2020 09:55 PM
Retired Probation Officer Charged with Embezzlement

I am a former employee and union member as well and can corroborate @law abiding citizen’s story. Administration did a good job of gaslighting its employees, which allowed this embezzlement to go on for way too long. After reading several articles involving probation employees, it wouldn’t surprise me if Ed asked Tanja to fire the @law abiding citizen (who advised us union members at the time that Ed was not providing proper financial statements) and in exchange, Ed would get the union to turn against Rabago so that Tanja (who the union had always disapproved of and also why Rabago became our chief in the first place) could become chief. Or we could all just be wrong and this is all a total coincidence?

SupportingJustice Aug 01, 2020 03:49 PM
Retired Probation Officer Charged with Embezzlement

What is sad is that the current union board is no better than Ed Torres. Several union members have reported instances of bullying and/or mistreatment to the current union president and board, yet nothing gets accomplished. And they still have the same attorneys who were negligent to Ed’s embezzling for years. What is the union even good for at this point? We voted “no confidence” for Rabago based on minimal information presented to us by Ed. Under Tanja’s “leadership,” several union members have been bullied and have reported misconduct by administration, but somehow the current union board still does not feel the need to do a vote of no confidence for Tanja. What more do you need? Then again, to my knowledge, all union board members currently have favorable assignments and receive special treatment. I remember telling the current union board about many of these issues, but they neglect them. What a cesspool!

For those line staff officers who do not agree with the current leadership and who have been victimized by this administration and feel you do not have support, several of us former employees will stand with you. We just ask that you speak up!

SupportingJustice Aug 01, 2020 11:09 AM
Retired Probation Officer Charged with Embezzlement

I wonder if this could be whispered to the governor’s office so that a separate entitiy could investigate Santa Barbara County high ranking officials as a whole. The grand jury was given advanced notice of this issue (I can confirm 100%) yet somehow the news provided this story which is inaccurate!

TheMole Jul 31, 2020 06:32 PM
Retired Probation Officer Charged with Embezzlement

I’m going to let my connection over at LA Times know. This is insane and your deleted comments make complete sense! If I were in charge of that department I’d be scared or I’d just resign. Angry tax payers will emerge.

Law Abiding Citizen Jul 31, 2020 05:45 PM
Retired Probation Officer Charged with Embezzlement

The former PPOA board members had a obligation to protect the community from Ed Torres. They are liable for this as they knew about the embezzlement way back in 2014.
SC & DR I am speaking directly to you!

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