The four Caltrans employees and one retired state worker arrested Monday allegedly falsified more than $100,000 in overtime and regular work hours, according to information the CHP released Tuesday.
The five individuals were booked on felony charges, including theft of state property, overtime fraud and conspiracy for their alleged crimes committed at Caltrans’ Willow Springs Maintenance Station, just north of Gorda, on Highway 1 about 10 miles north of the San Luis Obispo-Monterey county line.
Arrested were supervisor Danny Millsap, equipment operators Robert Eskridge, Kevin Liddiard and Angelina Galvan, and retired employee Phillip Taylor. They were booked into Monterey County Jail. Bail was set at $1 million apiece.
Millsap, Eskridge and Galvan are from Big Sur, while Taylor is from Harmony, according to the addresses they disclosed to the Monterey County Jail. Liddiard didn’t list an address.
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Authorities determined after a five-month investigation that in 2011, the five suspects falsified their time sheets and also stole 22 highway signs, such as those that alert motorists to dangerous curves and falling rocks, said CHP spokeswoman Fran Clader.
They also allegedly stole an unspecified amount of maintenance equipment, according to the CHP. The types of equipment or whether the signs were taken from a highway or a storage area were not immediately available.
Millsap, Eskridge, Liddiard and Galvan — who were also fired Monday — were arrested on the job at the maintenance station. Taylor was arrested during a traffic stop after leaving his home, Caltrans spokeswoman Tamie McGowen said.
They have the opportunity to appeal their termination, she added.
It’s not clear what they had allegedly planned to do with the stolen property, but some of it was reportedly discovered upon the arrests, Clader said.Caltrans management learned of the alleged overtime overcharges and property thefts in November and asked the CHP to investigate.