County Employee Arrested for Fraud

Written by Estero Bay News

March 1, 2024

The District Attorney’s Office has arrested a long-time SLO County employee and charged him with allegedly embezzling over $100,000 of public funds over a period of about seven years.

According to the D.A.’s news release, on Feb. 21, they arrested Norman Hibble, 54, and charged him with “stealing public money while employed with County of San Luis Obispo. The suspected theft was discovered by staff of the Office of the Auditor-Controller, who identified purchasing irregularities and worked closely with the District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit to investigate the alleged crimes.”

Hibble had worked for SLO County for some 16 years in the IT Department until last November, when the Auditor’s Office discovered the discrepancies and search warrants were executed at Hibble’s home and office. He was placed on administrative leave immediately and was fired from the County on Jan. 5, 2024. 

Hibble is charged with 12 felony counts alleging that between April 2017 and October 2023, he allegedly used a County credit card “to purchase personal items estimated at well over $100,000,” the announcement said. The charging documents break the charges out into 6-month time periods alleging a felony count being committed over each of the periods. There are also a host of “enhancements” listed in the court filing, though many appear to be unrelated to the act of misusing a credit card and appear to be charges routinely piled onto an indictment that the judge must sort out before sentencing, in the event of a conviction.

He was booked into the County Jail and bail was set at $350,000. He was scheduled to be arraigned on Friday, Feb. 23 when he is held to answer to the charges.

The long list of allegations could add up to a lengthy prison sentence, if he is convicted. The case is being prosecuted by Dep. D.A. Ben Blumenthal of the Major Fraud/Public Integrity Unit.

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