Cabrillo College vice president of instruction Paul De La Cerda.
(Via Cabrillo College)
Higher Ed

Cabrillo vice president pleads not guilty to felony charges in Los Angeles

Paul De La Cerda, Cabrillo College’s vice president of instruction, pleaded not guilty Friday morning after being charged in December with embezzlement and misappropriation of funds.

Update: Paul De La Cerda pleaded not guilty Friday morning in Los Angeles Superior Court. His next court date is scheduled for Feb. 17.

Previously: The vice president of instruction at Cabrillo College, accused of overbilling his former employer, is scheduled be arraigned on two felony charges Friday morning in Los Angeles.

Paul De La Cerda was charged last month with misappropriation of government funds and embezzlement of government funds related to about $1,600 for trips he took while working at East Los Angeles College.

The school’s newspaper reported in May 2021 that law enforcement officials were investigating De La Cerda — though no details were disclosed — and that the Los Angeles Community College District’s board had decided not to renew his contract earlier last year.

Several days after the charges were filed, the Cabrillo College board of trustees placed him on administrative leave through Jan. 31. He began working at the college in July.

De La Cerda’s attorney, David D. Diamond, told Lookout on Dec. 23 that because his client hadn’t been arraigned, they were still waiting to receive important information on the case.

“The significance of that first day in court is very important because it triggers his right to see the documentation, the evidence and the police report that will be used by the prosecutor,” he said. “At this time we don’t know specifically what they are alleging or what the charges are ultimately going to be. So once we are able to procure those documents we can more effectively respond to the allegations.”

Cabrillo College President Matt Wetstein previously told Lookout that the school was aware of the circumstances of De La Cerda’s departure from East Los Angeles College when it hired him, but added that De La Cerda went through the normal hiring process.