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Former Fire Captain Faces Embezzlement Charges

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LODI -- Former Lodi Fire Captain and treasurer of the Lodi Professional Firefighter's Union, Oscar Picazo, made his first court appearance Thursday facing multiple charges of embezzlement.

Picazo is accused of embezzling nearly $300,000 between the beginning of 2010 ending August 2016.

Picazo became the treasurer of the union in 2003 and according to the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office was the sole controller of the union's money.

"This is a case similar to others that I see where one person is in charge of the money and there's no financial committee oversight," says San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Stephen Taylor.

The union's secretary previously told the Lodi News Sentinel that they were tipped off after dues to other union's including state and international were not paid - afterwards it was discovered the money was missing.

Picazo will return to court in Stockton on January 17 to set a trial date.