Tuesday Aug 23 2011
Ex-EID chief facing more charges
By: Eric Laughlin Telegraph correspondent
After being fired for embezzlement at the water district, Korkowski now faces charges in Louisiana
The former El Dorado Irrigation District manager who was fired and arrested for reportedly embezzling as much as $30,000 through corporate credit cards, could face prison time in Louisiana stemming from similar allegations. Mark Korkowski, 54, pleaded no contest to one felony count of grand theft by embezzlement in exchange for three year’s probation and restitution totaling nearly $15,000. As part of the deal with El Dorado County prosecutors, the remaining 21 theft-related counts were dropped. Korkowski had served as co-head of hydro operations at EID from 2003 to 2006, and according to court filings, used the district’s credit cards for personal spending at local businesses that included Kragen Auto Parks, Radio Shack and REI. An internal investigation began in early 2006, which subsequently led to his termination and the charges being filed. But just hours before Korkowski accepted the plea bargain, the El Dorado Superior Court learned that the defendant had a warrant out for his arrest for felony theft charges in Louisiana. He was immediately taken into custody and later extradited. According to Louisiana officials, Korkowski allegedly stole $292,000 from a construction company he worked for between May 2009 and April 2011, when he was terminated. Officials said he used the company’s credit cards to buy vehicles, art, furniture and other goods, before submitting fraudulent invoices to the employer, F. Miller Construction. A search of Korkowski’s Lake Charles, Louisiana home turned up some of the items he allegedly purchased. He also reportedly kept $110,000 in cash, after selling scrap iron owned by the company. A Louisiana judge set Korkowski’s bail at $100,000. According to the Calcasieu Parish Jail inmate roster, he is no longer in custody. Parish Sheriff Department officials said the investigation is ongoing and more arrests are possible.