Anna Giles reporting


EL DORADO COUNTY (CBS13) — Sheriff’s Deputies said they caught an El Dorado County maintenance worker doing side jobs during the work day with inmate labor.

“We have plenty of inmates at our jails that are allowed to go out and work different jobs and some are with buildings and maintenance,” said El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office Spokesperson Sgt. Anthony Prencipe.

Prencipe said the county worker illegally used county equipment to do these jobs.

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33-year-old Ricci Chavez was arrested for felony embezzlement. Deputies said he was hired to clear brush at an El Dorado County home.

He and the inmate were working at the home for several days.

“As far as I’ve been told, the homeowner was not aware that it was an inmate. I don’t believe they were wearing any clothing that was marking them as that during those working hours. They usually supposed to be wearing clothing that marks them,” Prencipe said.

El Dorado County has placed Chavez on administrative leave. According to jail records, Chavez was arrested but is no longer in custody.

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