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Former Tehachapi community official charged with misusing funds

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A former board member with the Mountain Meadows Community Service District in Tehachapi is in trouble with the District Attorney's Office after being accused of misusing district funds.

The District Attorney's Office says Richard E. Williford was a board member of the public district from 2007-13 and also served as president.

The DA says Williford violated government codes when he was engaged with personal contracts while on the board.

A grand jury report accuses Williford of personally signing district checks without a second signature from a board member.

The report also alleges Williford committed more than $300,000 in district dollars to businesses owned by himself or a family member.

"We have filed 24 felony counts against Mr. Williford, 18 of which are under Penal Code Section 24 for unlawful appropriations of public monies for personal use," Deputy District Attorney Chris Dominguez.

Laurie King, the current president of the Mountain Meadows Community Service District board, spoke about how the community is dealing with the situation.

"I know some people are happy to see things are moving along," she said. "It is sad, and it is good. It is sad that someone in our district may have taken advantage of us, but it is also good, because we have a resilient group of people who are working to get it back together."

Eyewitness News spoke with Williford, who said he had no comment.

Next, Williford will be arraigned followed by a hearing to determine if his case will go to trial.

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