Holzworth Goes to Trial

Erik Jorgensen, Staff Writer

Jeffrey Scott Holzworth, accused of pilfering parking meters at Santa Rosa Junior College, now enters the next phase of his criminal prosecution: a trial.

At the April 3 hearing in Courtroom 9 of the Sonoma County Department of Justice, attorneys for Holzworth and his wife Karen both rejected the joint plea deal the district attorney offered. The DA’s plea deal required acceptance by both Holzworths.

Their criminal case transferred to Judge Kenneth Gnoss in Courtroom 3 on April 5. The brief hearing rescheduled a Preliminary Readiness Conference for 9 a.m. June 3.

Holzworth, a 28-year SRJC District Police veteran, held sole unsupervised responsibility over collecting money from campus parking meters and parking permit machines, and handled the chain of custody of evidence. Accused of embezzling more than $300,000 in campus parking fees since January 2005, Holzworth also had exclusive access to the laptop capable of erasing the accounting memory of the computerized parking permit machines.

Half of the budget for SRJC District Police comes from parking fees collected.

Jeffrey Holzworth faces one charge of grand theft and 11 charges of receiving stolen property, and Karen Holzworth faces one charge as an accessory and three charges of receiving stolen property.

Assistant DA Amy Ariyoshi’s plea deal offered five years and eight months in prison for Holzworth, with one year in county jail for his wife. By rejecting the joint plea deal and going to trial, Holzworth now faces a maximum prison sentence of 12 years.

“They still want a package deal, that’s not happening,” said Holzworth’s attorney Joe Passalaqua. “His wife is maintaining that she has done nothing. He has maintained that she has done nothing. The People are tying our hands with the package deal.”