Former ConFire Battalion Chief admits to felony grand theft

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (Mar. 18, 2024) — The Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office secured a felony grand theft conviction against a former battalion chief with the Contra Costa Fire Protection District as part of a negotiated disposition.

58-year-old Louis Manzo, Jr. of Danville was initially charged by the District Attorney’s Office in 2019 with felony crimes related to the misappropriation of public funds that occurred between 2014-2019. Moreover, Manzo, Jr. committed theft of Contra Costa Fire Protection District funds by falsifying information on timekeeping records, paid time off requests, and then redirecting public funds for his personal use. The Fire Protection District lost over 46-thousand dollars in fraudulent salary payments.

Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton said: “Acts of public corruption erode the integrity of our institutions that are here to serve our communities. The resolution in this case ensures that the misappropriated funds are returned to the Fire District.”

The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Steven Bolen, who said that Manzo, Jr. pled no contest to one count of felony grand theft [PC 487(a)]. He’s been ordered by the court to serve 30 days of custody time through the Sheriff’s Work Alternative Program, one year of court probation, 30 hours of community service, must pay restitution and fines, cannot have any contact with Fire District employees, and is ordered to stay away from all official Fire District locations.

Manzo Jr. also must comply with searches and seizures of records and other materials related to his finances. In addition to the court-ordered penalties, Manzo Jr.’s felony plea will also affect his county pension benefits under Government Code section 7522.72.