SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A former employee of the San Diego County Clerk’s Office was charged Thursday with allegedly recommending that a contractor hire his wife’s company to work on county projects, which prosecutors say may have netted the couple hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit.

Rolf Bishop, 73, pleaded not guilty Thursday to a felony count of violating Government Code Section 1090, which prohibits a county employee from being financially interested in any contract made by them in their official capacity.

Bishop previously worked as chief deputy for information systems with the San Diego County Assessors/Recorder/County Clerk’s (ARCC) Office.

The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office alleges that from March of 2017 to January of last year, Bishop recommended that his wife’s company be hired to work on ARCC projects and he allegedly approved invoices related to her work and the work of her employees. In a statement, the DA’s Office said this arrangement provided the couple with potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit, though “exact accounting details are expected to become public” in the criminal case.

Bishop faces up to three years in prison and a fine if convicted.

“The defendant and anyone working for the government has a duty to the public to not violate the public’s trust by using their position to unlawfully pad their own pockets,” San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan said. “It’s critical that public corruption at all levels of government be investigated and prosecuted when the evidence meets the high burden of proof under the law.”

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