Officer Charged with Embezzlement, Suspected by Many Before Arrest

William Rohrs, Staff Writer

Fellow SRJC officers had suspicions that Jeff Holzworth was skimming cash from parking permit machines for years prior to his Nov. 28 arrest, according to SRJC District Police Chief Matthew McCaffrey.

“Yes there were suspicions, but this investigation is focusing on one singular incident,” he said.

McCaffrey said a police department employee alerted him that Holzworth might have been taking advantage of his responsibility to remove cash from the parking lot and deliver it to the accounting department.

“We have no ballpark figure on the total loss, and no figure on how much [money] has been recovered,” McCaffrey said.

McCaffrey called Santa Rosa police on Nov. 1 and asked that department to take charge of investigating the case to avoid a possible conflict of interest within the SRJC District Police. Holzworth was arrested after Santa Rosa Police conducted a three-week investigation and used search warrants to retrieve items from his home, personal and work cars and workspace.

In 2005, Holzworth received Employee of the month, and his press release said, “Jeff identifies his greatest accomplishment at SRJC as keeping all the permit machines and parking meters working at all times, and notes that his greatest challenge is ‘SRJC’s parking problem. One of my responsibilities is all the parking permit machines and parking meters. I collect the money and maintain them to keep them up and running so we don’t lose revenue,’ he said.”

Two months into his position, McCaffrey is working to keep the SRJC District Police an honest department. “We police ourselves and we don’t want anyone in our own ranks that we feel tarnish the badge,” he said.

Holzworth has been an SRJC officer for 28 years, and is nearing the start of his retirement. If convicted of a felony like embezzlement, Holzworth would lose his retirement benefits.

Holzworth’s arraignment hearing was rescheduled to 8:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 3. Criminal defense attorney Joe Passalacqua will defend Holzworth.