Three Santa Monica Big Blue Bus employees have been arrested for theft following an investigation of alleged irregularities found in the city’s Rideshare program.

As part of a random internal audit, the City of Santa Monica’s Finance Department conducted a review of the Rideshare program and discovered irregularities in Transit Club forms as well as a lack of effective internal controls, said Kate Vernez, assistant to the city manager for community and government relations.

The internal review assessed the adequacy of the Transportation Management Division’s efforts to administer the Rideshare program, which provides an incentive for city employees to use public transportation, commuting and other means to reduce carbon emissions, she said.

As a result of the team’s findings, City Manager P. Lamont Ewell called for a full investigation by the Santa Monica Police Department that was initiated on March 2nd.

Following the investigation, Santa Monica police arrested three Big Blue Bus employees. Two employees have been charged with grand theft and one was charged with petty theft in connection with the case, Vernez said.

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