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Thursday, Aug 29 2013 12:47 PM

High speed rail agency hired a convicted embezzler

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    By California High Speed Rail Authority

    An artist's conception of the bullet train speeding under the Tehachapi Pass.

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By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

SACRAMENTO -- A woman who embezzled $320,000 from a California state agency was later hired by the state's High-Speed Rail Authority -- and she said nobody asked about her background.

Carey Renee Moore spent two years in state prison after pleading no contest to felony grand theft in 2007.

Prosecutors said she embezzled $320,000 in 2005 when she worked as a procurement officer for the Department of Child Support Services and used it to buy a television, hot tub and other items, including pornographic videos, handcuffs, whips and chains.

Moore, who at the time was called Carey Renee Aceves, was working for the state Board of Equalization when she was arrested in 2007. She was in the process of being fired but resigned before the action became final and so no record of her crime was placed in her personnel file, The Sacramento Bee reported Thursday.

In 2011, Moore was hired by the High-Speed Rail Authority. Her job included making travel plans for officials.

Her state job application didn't ask whether she'd been convicted of a crime because the State Personnel Board had removed that question and transferred it to supplemental forms for jobs that required background checks, such as law enforcement.

Nobody else asked Moore whether she had a criminal background and "I wasn't going to get a job if I said it," Moore told an unemployment insurance appeals judge last October.

"I went through State Personnel Board language to make sure there was no reason I couldn't or shouldn't do this," she said.

Her cover letter and job applications described Moore's time away from the state as a "four-year voluntary resignation" to fulfill "family obligations" due to "personal family circumstances," the Bee said.

At the rail authority, Moore got a good review, a raise and a promotion. However, her past surfaced when the Franchise Tax Board began garnishing her wages to collect more than $373,000 in restitution.

When a rail official asked about the garnishment, Moore said it was for taxes she owed while working at the child support department, the Bee said, citing a copy of a dismissal notice.

She was fired in July 2012 for lying to secure her job.

She filed but then withdrew an appeal. She also won a battle over whether she was entitled to unemployment benefits.

Rail authority spokeswoman Lisa Marie Alley declined to comment on Moore's hiring, saying it was a personnel matter, the Bee reported.

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