A veteran Santa Rosa Junior College police officer accused of embezzlement allegedly stole money collected from campus parking meters, prosecutors said Monday.

Prosecutors declined to give specifics and sought more time to file formal charges.

Officer Jeff Holzworth, 51, was arrested Wednesday after a three-week investigation sparked by a tip from another officer.

Detectives seized several thousand dollars from Holzworth, a 28-year officer who supervises parking permits and meters. He was placed on administrative leave after his release from jail on $150,000 bail.

Holzworth appeared Monday morning in a Santa Rosa courtroom to face expected charges of grand theft and embezzlement. Prosecutor Amy Ariyoshi asked for more time to analyze financial documents.

Judge Robert LaForge ordered Holzworth to return to court Dec. 17.

Ariyoshi confirmed Holzworth is suspected of taking money from the parking fund but did not say how much or over what period the alleged theft occurred.

"We're still in the evidence-gathering stage," she said outside court.

Holzworth did not comment as he left the courthouse with his lawyer and a woman. He joined the campus police force in 1984 and had the most seniority of its 14 officers.

SRJC Police Chief Matt McCaffrey said Holzworth's duties included collecting coins and currency from parking machines and meters around campus and delivering the money to the accounting department.

Doug Roberts, SRJC's vice president of business services, said $266,000 was collected in the 12 months ending June 30.

Students paid $1.1 million for semester-length permits, but Holzworth did not handle those permits, Roberts said.

Santa Rosa police are handling the investigation. Lt. Lance Badger could not be reached Monday for comment.

You can reach Staff Writer Paul Payne at 568-5312 or paul.payne@pressdemocrat.com.

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