H-PASO ROBLES

Oct 9, 2013 8:39 PM by Cameron Polom, KSBY News

Paso Robles city official investigated

The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney's Office is reviewing evidence that could lead to charges against a former Paso Robles city employee. That's the word from a Paso Robles police official.

We brought you the KSBY investigation three weeks ago, when sources revealed building parks and street maintenance supervisor Charles Lorenzen suddenly resigned amid an investigation over criminal theft.

The city as well as the Paso Robles Police Department is keeping a tight lid on the investigation, refusing to answer most of our questions Wednesday.

A source tells KSBY Lorenzen used city credit cards for personal use.

That source also tells KSBY police collected receipts and searched his home in Templeton, removing several items of evidence.

What we do know is he resigned three weeks ago after more than 13 years with the city.

"We have an open and active investigation," said Lt. Ty Lewis with the Paso Robles Police Department.

Lt. Lewis says the investigation is moving forward but at this point won't share many details.

KSBY asked him if investigators searched Lorenzen's property.

"At this point we're not commenting regarding any of the details of the investigation as it's open and active," said Lewis. "We're still following up on leads that may come in, and we're working with the District Attorney's Office on follow up. It wouldn't be in the case's best interest to comment on it at this time."

He also said investigators are still interviewing witnesses and KSBY has made multiple attempts to reach Lorenzen for comment.

KSBY also asked Lt. Lewis if he thought it was important for the city to at least come out and talk to us about what's going on with this investigation because it does have to do with our tax dollars.

"Well everything is timing, and like I said, the most important thing and in the public's best interest is to run a very clean and tight investigation to make sure that everything, all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed," said Lewis. "When we're satisfied that the investigation is at a conclusion, I'm sure there will be more information available by then."

According to Lt. Lewis, a search warrant was not issued, however that does not mean his home was not searched. Lorenzen could have consented to the search which would not require a judge's approval.

We pulled three years' worth of credit card statements and found lots of charges ranging from $20 to a $650 dishwasher meant for Fire Station Number 2 in Paso Robles.

But again, since police and the city are being so tight lipped, we just don't know what we are looking for.

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